During OU’s annual Faculty Tribute ceremony on April 10th, hosted by the OU Board of Regents and President David L. Boren, Dr. Kurt Gramoll, was recognized for being awarded a U.S. patent titled “Vibration Reducing Pipe Junction.” Dr. Gramoll worked in conjunction with Blake Eisner to develop a piping system that, under high pressure conditions, would reduce the frequency of problematic vibrations caused by displacement pumps and their flow variations.                    In addition to his research and professing, he is also the director of the Engineering Media Laboratory at AME. He currently serves as a technical/editorial reviewer for Applied Mechanics Reviews, Composites Engineering Journal, Journal of Applied Mechanics, and for the American Society for Testing and Materials. Congratulations go to AME’s Dr. Gramoll for being awarded a U.S. patent and his award recognition at OU’s annual Faculty Tribute ceremony.

Dr. Chung-Hao Lee, one of AME’s assistant professors was recently named an awardee for the Nancy Mergler Faculty Mentor Award for Undergraduate Research for 2017-18 during the Annual Faculty Tribute. The award nomination comes from undergraduate researchers submitting either a survey or a letter that presents examples of the mentor’s leadership skills. Through his mentoring of undergraduate research students, he has provided them with outstanding research experiences where he supports individual and professional development of the mentee. Dr. Lee’s award of $500 is based on his qualities such as: investing in the work of his students through guidance, instruction, and encouragement, as well as fostering an environment with mutual respect and providing timely, explicit, and constructive feedback for intellectual growth. Congratulations go to Dr. Lee on his profound mentorship skills and his recognition for the Nancy Mergler Faculty Mentor Award.



Professor Subramanyam Gollahalli, Lesch Centennial Chair at the University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME), retired and transitioned to emeritus status in May 2017, after 41 years of service at OU (52 years including his tenure at the Indian Institute of Science, India and the University of Waterloo, Canada). His service included eight years of directorship at AME.

His distinguished career was marked by many awards from various professional organizations and many recognitions from OU, including the Regents Superior Teaching Award and Regents Professional Service Award. A few of the awards bestowed upon Professor Gollahalli are the Westinghouse Gold Medal, the Energy Systems Award, the Ralph James Award, the Ralph Teetor Award, the Samuel Collier Award and the Sustained Service Award.

Professor Gollahalli’s research in energy and combustion involved many experimental studies. He founded the internationally-recognized Combustion Laboratory, where he mentored over 100 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) and post-doctoral associates and produced nearly 300 publications. He involved many undergraduate students in his laboratory research as well.

Professor Gollahalli strongly believes that “hands-on experimental experience” is an essential component of engineering education to prepare well-rounded engineers. He was the founding chair of the AME Laboratory Committee (1989), in which capacity he served until retirement (with a break during his directorship). He was the author of the “AME Lab Plan” required by the accreditation agency, which provides guidelines for various laboratories (two required labs and five elective labs). It deals with coordination, safety aspects and general guidelines for funding and conducting laboratory courses. During his tenure as the chair, he raised funds and arranged allocation of funds through the Lab Committee to modernize the lab education to keep pace with technological innovations.

“Dr. Gollahalli is a truly dedicated professor, he inspires his students to solve problems and make a difference,” said Sai Gundavelli, AME alum.

His passion for giving students hands-on experience resulted in the modernization of the AME machine shop with numerically controlled equipment. During his directorship, he gave priority to funding labs and the machine shop in which students were given the opportunity to work by themselves under the supervision of machine shop staff.

The capstone design project program, which involves industrial projects, saw a major growth in size and increase in funding during his directorship. The AME Capstone Project Poster Fair, where students exhibit their hands-on developed creations and win awards at the conclusion of judging by the industry personnel, became an annual popular event during his term as the director.

During his tenure as the director, he encouraged and supported the student competition activities, such as Sooner Racing Team, Human-Powered Vehicle Team, Robotics Team and Design-Build-Fly Team. The teams facilitated direct student involvement in designing, manufacturing and competing in national events. He personally attended some of the competitions to encourage students. He took great pleasure and felt proud when the teams achieved high national rankings.

When Professor Gollahalli stepped down from the directorship after eight years, the AME Board of Advisors started a fund to honor his legacy, which was intended to support the undergraduate laboratories. Now, after his retirement, to mark his passion and belief in providing valuable laboratory hands-on experience to students, Professor Gollahalli’s family decided to make a significant contribution to this fund to make it a permanent endowment, which will serve as a source of funding for this cause.

“I am grateful to the AME Board of Advisors for establishing Gollahalli Legacy Fund to support instructional labs. I thank my wonderful students and friends for their generous donation for this cause, which will facilitate production of well-rounded future AME engineers,” said Professor Gollahalli.

The School of AME requests your contributions to this fund to mark your name and help fulfill Professor Gollahalli’s long-standing desire. To contribute to the Gollahalli Legacy Fund please visit: https://giving.oufoundation.org/OnlineGivingWeb/Giving/OnlineGiving/Gollahalli



The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is excited to announce our new faculty member, Dr. Jie Cai.

Dr. Jie Cai holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Mathematics. In 2015, he obtained his Ph.D. from Purdue University with a focus on multi-agent control for building energy system management. Prior to joining OU, Dr. Cai was a postdoctoral research associate with Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at Purdue University and also held a 50% appointment with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Within the postdoc appointment, he has been leading several industry- and DOE-funded projects related to whole-building fault detection and using building energy systems for power grid ancillary services.

His research focus has centered around modeling and advanced controls of building energy systems and their broad applications, including grid-interactive building operation, optimized control for variable-speed air-conditioning/heat pump systems, distributed control of sustainable communities, etc. He is excited about joining AME at OU and he is looking forward to working with the students, staff and other researchers at OU in establishing a vigorous building energy research program. He is hoping to see that the research work to be carried out at OU will contribute to a more sustainable and resilient society.

Why OU?
OU is a diverse community offering excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and it has close physical proximity to leading HVAC manufacturers.

What are you most looking forward to working at OU’s AME?
Working with the smart students, supportive staff members and world-class researchers to establish a vigorous research program.

Interesting facts about Jie Cai:

  • Enthusiastic in hearing ideas from different fields
  • Loves outdoor activities, especially fishing
  • Big fan of math

Gaomi, Shandong Province, China


The inaugural OU Giving Day was February 28, 2017. It was a 24-hour online fundraiser for scholarships to give everyone the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of OU students.

The funds raised on OU Giving Day go directly to the Gallogly College of Engineering unrestricted scholarship fund. Scholarships through this fund will be awarded to undergraduates and graduate students in any of the College’s seven schools of any major and awarded in 2017.

Gallogly College swept 2 of the 3 University competitions and will receive an additional $2,000, bringing the OU Giving Day total to $30,386! This means that 30 students will receive a scholarship this fall, and YOU made that possible.

1st Place: Most New Donors, with 138. 62% of those that gave to GCoE made their first gift!

1st Place: Most Dollars Raised

Each department within Gallogly College competed to raise the most money and the results are in!

1st Place – Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering 

2nd Place – Computer Science 

3rd Place – Industrial and Systems Engineering

Our very own Director Altan donated and even made a video to encourage others to participate.

Thank you to everyone who donated!

AME student, Robert Anderson, was awarded the Oklahoma National Science Foundation (NSF) Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Summer 2017 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. According to the EPSCoR website, “Award recipients, under the guidance of faculty mentors, will perform climate variability research at the University of Oklahoma in Norman and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.”

The student researcher will be under the guidance of Dr. Andrea L’afflitto  to conduct research titled Summer Research Experience: Programming UAS for Improved Weather Forecasts.

For the full list of recipients, click here.

Dr. David P. Miller spoke at the 2017 Oklahoma City Joint Engineering Societies Banquet on February 23, 2017 at the Gaylord Student Center at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma.

The program featured Dr. David P. Miller, who since 1999 has been the Wilkonson Chair and Professor of Intelligent Systems based in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) at the University of Oklahoma. Miller has a Bachelors in Astronomy from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Computer Science/AI from Yale. His primary research areas are in mobility, the tradeoff between algorithm and mechanism, assistive technology and STEM education. Miller worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for his work at JPL leading to the Mars Pathfinder Rover Mission. He is a founder of KISS Institute for Practical Robotics and their Botball Program. Miller is the faculty advisor for the OU Boomer Rocket Team and the Sooner Rover Team (SoRo). In the Fall of 2015, OU was competitively selected as one of eight universities to compete in the NASA RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition. The competition involves finding and retrieving designated samples from Mars and Lunar-like environments (at NASA JSC) while tele-operating the rover from a remote location (in our case, Norman OK). OU students designed and built the rover over the next 8 months and competed in May of 2016. This talk will discuss the team, their design and performance at the competition (Spoiler: we won).

According to Miller, after his “Rovers and OU Student Engineering Teams” presentation, several high school students that plan to attend the University of Oklahoma expressed interest in joining rover, rocket or space related student teams and were currently involved in robotics teams at their high school.

The Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) Central/Southwest Chapter sponsored the banquet. This event was held in conjunction with Engineer’s Week that many Oklahoma engineering societies participate in. A number of students also attended the banquet, including participants in Engineer for a Day, Future Ciies, and MATHCOUNTS programs.



Dr. Andrea L’Afflitto has recently published a new book titled A Mathematical Perspective on Flight Dynamics and Control. The book provides a mathematically rigorous description of flight dynamics complementing those presented from a physical perspective.

About this Book

This brief presents several aspects of flight dynamics, which are usually omitted or briefly mentioned in textbooks, in a concise, self-contained, and rigorous manner. The kinematic and dynamic equations of an aircraft are derived starting from the notion of the derivative of a vector and then thoroughly analyzed, interpreting their deep meaning from a mathematical standpoint and without relying on physical intuition. Moreover, some classic and advanced control design techniques are presented and illustrated with meaningful examples.

Distinguishing features that characterize this brief include a definition of angular velocity, which leaves no room for ambiguities, an improvement on traditional definitions based on infinitesimal variations. Quaternion algebra, Euler parameters, and their role in capturing the dynamics of an aircraft are discussed in great detail. After having analyzed the longitudinal- and lateral-directional modes of an aircraft, the linear-quadratic regulator, the linear-quadratic Gaussian regulator, a state-feedback H-infinity optimal control scheme, and model reference adaptive control law are applied to aircraft control problems. To complete the brief, an appendix provides a compendium of the mathematical tools needed to comprehend the material presented in this brief and presents several advanced topics, such as the notion of semistability, the Smith–McMillan form of a transfer function, and the differentiation of complex functions: advanced control-theoretic ideas helpful in the analysis presented in the body of the brief.

A Mathematical Perspective on Flight Dynamics and Control will give researchers and graduate students in aerospace control an alternative, mathematically rigorous means of approaching their subject.

About the Author:

The author is an assistant professor at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering of The University of Oklahoma and is presently teaching a graduate course in flight control. Dr. L’Afflitto holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering and an M.S. degree in Mathematics and his research is currently focused on optimal control theory and differential games theory with applications to aerospace control problems, such as fuel-optimal path planning and formation flying.


To purchase or learn more about this book, please visit: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319474663

A group of students from Dr. Andrea L’afflitto’s Flight Controls class created the following video:

According to Dr. L’afflitto, this project consisted of designing an autopilot for a quadrotor using some modern, very aggressive control techniques. The purpose of this video is to show the results achieved graphically, however, the mathematical models, the control design problem and the numerical simulations have very deep roots.

“I am extremely proud of their work because these are all undergraduate students, but the quality and the mathematical complexity is the one of a graduate project,” said Dr. L’afflitto. “We all can imagine the impact of the development of such technology, considering the growing attention that OU is putting on the UAS technology.”

Video Transcript:

This video shows the result of a students’’ project developed as part of the AME 4513/5513 “Flight Controls” course at the University of Oklahoma in Fall 2016. A DJI F450 will inspect some buildings of OU’s main campus. The drone’s autopilot implements an algorithm based on Model Reference Adaptive Control.

An important feature of this simulation is that the quadrotor dynamics is not captured by a set of nonlinear differential equations, but it is deduced from a SimMechanics model of a DJI F450. This guarantees high accuracy of the results presented.

The adaptive control technology allows precise, aggressive maneuvers in the vicinity of obstacles, such as buildings.


Next, we compare the performance of a quadrotor (in white) implementing an adaptive control law and a quadrotor (in black) implementing a classic PID controller.


Created by: Blake Anderson

Riley Cotter

Jordan Logue

Kevin Murray Jr.

keith-walters-bioDr. Keith Walters was awarded $37,363.00 for his research project titled “Multiphysics Simulations of Multi-Component, Off-Design Aircraft Engine Operation Using Dynamic Hybrid RANS/LES.”

The grant is a subcontract from ATA Engineering, Inc., in collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory and Mississippi State University, funded under the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), specifically the HPCMP Applications Software Initiative (HASI) Project. They are working to develop enhanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models and algorithms to improve the prediction of flow and combustion in high-speed aircraft propulsion systems. Their focus at OU is the modeling and simulation of fluid turbulence. The team will be implementing newly developed models into the CFD software Loci-CHEM and providing the new tools to their collaborators at ATA and AFRL. This is the first year of a potentially four year project, subject to project progress and funding availability. The research group is hopeful to be awarded Year 2 funding.

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