Marilyn Smith is a professor of aerospace engineering and director of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE) at Georgia Tech. She became center director in November 2018 when Daniel Schrage, who led the center for more than 30 years, announced his retirement. The VLRCOE at Georgia Tech conducts basic research focused on scientific barriers in technologies that support current and future vertical lift capabilities. Funded by a consortium of sponsors, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and NASA, the VLRCOE at Georgia Tech is part of a national network of vertical lift research programs housed at academic institutions. Over the course of its history, Georgia Tech’s VLRCOE has promoted research that has resulted in software algorithms and simulation models that are now in regular use by the U.S. government and the rotorcraft industy.
Smith is an expert in vehicle aeromechanics and fluid–structure interactions and the influence of these interactions on vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight vehicles. “There is much we have to learn about how various eVTOL aircraft will perform and which designs will best serve urban and rural mobility missions for passengers and cargo,” Smith acknowledges. “Software and simulation models that are used to design rotorcraft can be enhanced to evaluate rotary wing–based flight vehicle designs for urban and regional air missions and directly tie performance criteria to the passenger experience.”
Learn more about Smith’s research here.