United States of America
Jason Cornelius is a graduate student and National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University, where he carries out research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for the Dragonfly aircraft.
Jason began studying the fundamentals of vertical flight with the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence. As an undergraduate, Jason attended the Penn State Rotary Wing Short Course, which solidified his passion for rotorcraft engineering. He then interned at Bell for two summers, accumulating knowledge in rotor finite element analysis, flight technology research, preliminary vehicle design, CFD analysis, wind tunnel experimentation, and helicopter certification.
Jason is now in the Pathways program at the NASA Ames Research Center's Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Branch, where he has studied multi-rotor acoustics and ran CFD simulations on the parachute for the Mars 2020 mission.
His current research analyzes the Dragonfly coaxial quadcopter aircraft set to explore Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. “[This] work will provide insight into the design of the vehicle’s four co-axial rotors and fuselage, improve the knowledge base of multi-rotor performance, and provide a high-fidelity tool to analyze future configurations,” explained Jason.
Jason has also been actively engaged outside of his studies at Penn State. He has served as Vice President for the Penn State chapter of the Vertical Flight Society, and Vice President of the Wind Energy Club that has been successful in US Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competitions.
“I met the then-president of our Penn State AHS chapter, Ethan Corle, in my freshman year,” recalled Jason. “His passion and knowledge of rotorcraft had me hooked on the club from the start. Throughout the year I became involved in technical talks from helicopter pilots and rotary-wing engineers, and we even hosted events to engage the local community. AHS was the obvious choice for me when I began looking for leadership opportunities on campus. Through my role as a club officer, I helped create our annual STEM Rotor Day, which invites students from the surrounding communities' grade schools to learn about science and engineering. My involvement in the club has aided me in creating a network within the industry, and it has also developed me as a leader, contributing individual to my community, and as a student. I will be forever grateful for the chance meeting with Penn State AHS early on in my education.”
In addition to his involvement with the Penn State student chapter, Jason credits the many VFS members he has worked with: "I have also been fortunate to encounter many great mentors within the field. I would like to thank Drs. Edward Smith, Sven Schmitz, William Warmbrodt, Albert Brand, Michael Kinzel, and Natasha Schatzman for their support and guidance throughout the years.
VFF Scholar Spotlight: Vertiflite July/Aug 2018