Claudio V. Di Leo is an assistant professor in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Engineering. Di Leo’s research group, the Multiphysics Mechanics of Materials Lab (M3Lab) , studies the broad topic of modeling the coupling of chemical phenomena and mechanical deformation. Di Leo has a particular interest in energy storage devices and has studied the role of mechanics on electrochemical performance of nano-architected lithium-ion battery electrodes. He also directs the Aero Maker Space, an educational lab that enables students to do rapid prototyping and testing of novel ideas.
Di Leo has used 3D printing as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-sponsored project in collaboration with Boeing that involves the design, manufacturing, and flight-testing of a robotic landing gear (RLG) concept for rotorcraft. “We developed a novel four-bar, cable-driven leg mechanism, as well as novel ground contact sensors based on rubber-encapsulated pressure sensors, for a 400-pound unmanned aerial vehicle,” he says. The RLG system was successfully flight-tested in March 2018.
Through understanding the coupling between mechanics and chemistry, Di Leo envisions the design and development of novel smart materials and structures for application in urban and regional air mobility. For example, he envisions the power source of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) distributed throughout the airframe inside structural components. These structural components would also be used
for sensing mechanical loads through the airframe and providing health monitoring
of the energy storage system.
More information about the M3Lab may be found here.
Click here to learn more about the project for robotic landing gear.