RPI MOVE ribbon cutting 2018: (L-R): Dr. Shekhar Garde, Honorable Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and Prof. Farhan Gandhi

The opening of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE) was held on Oct. 2-3, 2018, at the university, located in Troy, New York: http://move.rpi.edu

Fueled by explosive growth in the emergent field of electric VTOL aircraft, as well as the U.S. DoD’s interest in high-speed VTOL aircraft, vertical lift technology is undergoing a major renaissance and is at one of the most exciting points in its development history. However, many fundamental research challenges must be addressed to deliver on this promise. Recognizing the need for breakthroughs at the frontiers of knowledge, as well as the exciting opportunities this offers, RPI established MOVE earlier this year.

Ten RPI faculty and two affiliated faculty with a collective expertise in VTOL aeromechanics, multicopters, advanced VTOL configurations, control and autonomy, flying qualities, diagnostics and structural health monitoring, computational fluid dynamics, experimental aerodynamics, nanomaterials, and design optimization are actively working on projects under MOVE. The center currently has 21 Ph.D. students.

The Vertical Flight Society gave the kick-off presentation and video recorded the presentations and panel discussions.

MOVE slideOfficial Opening: https://youtu.be/6X5K3Ns5nnI (41:26)

The official welcome was given by RPI President, The Honorable Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, followed by MOVE Director, Prof. Farhan Gandhi. The opening event also included remarks by:

  • Dr. Shekhar Garde, Elaine and Jack Parker Endowed Chair and Dean of Engineering, RPI
  • Mr. David Koopersmith (RPI ’78), Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Vertical Lift
  • Dr. Vineet Sahasrabudhe, Director of Engineering Sciences, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
  • Dr. William D. Lewis, Director, Aviation Development Directorate, Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, U.S. Army

The Electric VTOL Revolution: https://youtu.be/xYxzTwVUQaA (59:54)

Leaders in Engineering Lecture: “The Electric VTOL Revolution” (kickoff presentation)
Mr. Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director of the Vertical Flight Society

New Forces Shaping Research and Development in the U.S. Army: https://youtu.be/u9-g17SpoDY (1:02:20)

Paul E. Hemke Lecture in Aerospace Engineering: “New Forces Shaping Research and Development in the U.S. Army”
Mr. Jeff Singleton. Director of Technology, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology

The Dawn of eVTOL: https://youtu.be/bWrt1lUldAg (59:06)

Lila and Robert G. Loewy Lecture in Rotorcraft Technology: “The Dawn of eVTOL”
Mr. Mark Moore, Director of Engineering, Vehicle Systems, Uber Elevate

Design Considerations for Vertical Lift Mobility: https://youtu.be/bSx7eO6uhNg (41:08)

Leaders in Engineering Lecture: “Design Considerations for Vertical Lift Mobility, or Things to Think About Before You Grow Your Drone”
Mr. Steve Weiner, Chief Engineer, Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Electric VTOL: Current Status & Technical Challenges: https://youtu.be/CH2FmE8n10A (2:02:54)

RPI MOVE panel 2018
RPI MOVE panel 2018

Panel Discussion: “Electric VTOL: Current Status & Technical Challenges”

Moderator: Mr. Elias Rigas (RPI ’91), Chief, Vehicle Applied Research Division, Vehicle Technology Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory (on left in photo)

Panelists (L-R in photo):

  • Mr. Chris Jaran (RPI ’78), CEO, Terrafugia
  • Mr. J. Scott Drennan, VP Innovation, Bell
  • Mr. Matt Ciuca, Director of Strategy, Commercial Programs, Aurora Flight Sciences
  • Mr. Mike Duffy, Project Manager, Boeing Research and Technology
  • Dr. Rajneesh Singh, Group Lead, Vehicle Applied Research Division, Vehicle Technology Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Dr. Inderjit Chopra, Alfred Gessow Professor, University of Maryland

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