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Aerospace and Ocean Engineering 2020: Space 2.0, flying cars, and robotic exploration of oceans

Dr. Eric Paterson

February 09, 2019
An interactive session led by Dr. Eric Paterson. 

Virginia Tech Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department Head and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion

Dr. Paterson is Department Head of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Marine Propulsion in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Paterson has a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Iowa. He has over 30 years experience as a practicing engineer, researcher, and educator. His research expertise is in the broad areas of computational mechanics; a field which is at the intersection of engineering mechanics, applied mathematics, and supercomputing. He has had the good fortune to work on numerous diverse problems over his career, including; spacecraft with large deployable structures, naval ships and submarines, ocean remote sensing from aircraft and satellites, floating offshore wind turbines, pediatric artificial heart pumps, and robotic dog noses for detection of explosives. Today, his primary research interest is in maritime sensing for weather and climate prediction, and national security.  

Virginia Tech’s Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering offers an unusual approach to understanding and exploiting the similarities between two seemingly disparate fields. This perspective allows our researchers to forge new paths through aerospace and ocean engineering, and launches our graduates into careers that deepen our understanding and advance our technology.   Today, our students and faculty grapple with exciting problems which were unthinkable in the not too distant past   These problems include human spaceflight to Mars, mining asteroids for rare minerals, flying cars for Uber and personal mobility to break urban gridlock, ever more efficient commercial airlines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and robotic exploration of Earth’s oceans. In this talk, Dr. Paterson will discuss many of these topics and talk about some of the grand challenges that Aerospace and Ocean Engineers will solve in the future and why you should consider it as a major when you enter the university.