Researcher explores new concepts for air transportation

May 20, 2014

Research under way at Clarkson University on possible configurations for green aircraft is resulting in designs that look a lot like nothing most people would imagine. The future calls for out-of-the-box thinking however—and Clarkson's motto is "defy convention"—so researchers there have a head start on innovation.

Pier Marzocca, of mechanical & aeronautical engineering in the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering at Clarkson, discusses advances in air transportation in the May 7 issue of SAE International. The article is based on a technical paper that he co-wrote along with Clarkson graduate student Casey Stockbridge and Allesandro Ceruti of the University of Bologna. In part, it discusses a process called (RP). (Read the full article at , page 6.)

"Rapid prototyping is revolutionizing the way products are designed and manufactured," Marzocca says. "This enables us to identify possible mistakes and misfits in parts so solutions can be found and corrected more rapidly and economically. We use it often to produce models that can be tested in wind tunnel."  

In a general sense, RP is an additive manufacturing process, he adds, and a research group from Clarkson recently received funding from NYSERDA to improve current the state-of-the-art metal additive manufacturing process.

This project, led by Marzocca and Assistant Professors of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering Ajit Achuthan and James Gibert, is in collaboration with General Electric and the U.S. DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory, among others.

The new unconventional airship research was inspired by the European-funded project MAAT (a Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport concept) led by University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. MAAT is a green transportation system with zero emission, powered by photovoltaic and fuel cells, using hydrogen as lifting gas.

Marzocca received his doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Italy, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher and visiting assistant professor in Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech before joining the Clarkson faculty in 2003. He has been working in the field of aerospace engineering since 1996.

He was recently awarded a visiting professor research fellowship from the Sapienza University of Rome, where he is spending the summer. "This fellowship will allow our group to continue research in exciting areas of green and also explore collaborative opportunities in Europe, particularly in the aerospace and renewable energy arena," he says.

Explore further: Meeting the global need for clean cook stoves

Related Stories

Meeting the global need for clean cook stoves

May 19, 2014

At some point, everyone's ancestors depended on a three-stone fire. It's exactly what the name suggests: three stones of roughly the same size that hold cookware over an open flame.

New insights into cell death

March 18, 2011

A Cardiff team has contributed to a study of a novel model of cell death which helps to explain how cells in the breast die through an archaic mechanism that is relevant to breast cancer.

Recommended for you

Microsoft aims at Apple with high-end PCs, 3D software

October 26, 2016

Microsoft launched a new consumer offensive Wednesday, unveiling a high-end computer that challenges the Apple iMac along with an updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and "mixed reality."

Making it easier to collaborate on code

October 26, 2016

Git is an open-source system with a polarizing reputation among programmers. It's a powerful tool to help developers track changes to code, but many view it as prohibitively difficult to use.

Dutch unveil giant vacuum to clean outside air

October 25, 2016

Dutch inventors Tuesday unveiled what they called the world's first giant outside air vacuum cleaner—a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic tiny particles from the atmosphere surrounding the machine.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) May 20, 2014
a picture or two would have been nice....

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.