Abstract: This presentation will have two parts. The first part of the talk will start with an overview of Dr. Kelkar’s diverse research portfolio highlighting key research projects and then focus on interesting results and his ongoing research efforts in the area of stability augmentation and health monitoring of aircraft using innovative sensory feedback. NASA and FAA are actively pursuing new and innovative technologies that can improve aircraft safety by proactively mitigating current and future risks. Dr. Kelkar will present his research team’s effort in collaboration with local aerospace industries on the development of innovative methodologies that will enhance the aircraft safety and performance by enabling prognostic determination of incipient failures, improving pilot alert systems through effective cockpit displays, and providing stability augmentation to gracefully recover from adverse flight conditions and avoid potential failures due to loss of control situations. The talk will present a pioneering feedback system architecture, namely FLASH (Flush air data for Aerodynamic and Structural Health Monitoring), a novel architecture that integrates flush air data feedback, structural strain sensing, and reconfigurable control to yield an intelligent, prognostic, on-line stability augmentation, and health & efficiency monitoring system with effective pilot alert mechanisms. The second part of the presentation will focus on funding opportunities at NSF for researchers in the field of dynamics, control and system diagnostics. The presentation will give a brief overview of NSF’s organizational structure, budgets, funding success rates, new initiatives, and some other important statistics about Engineering Directorate, CMMI (Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation) Division, and in particular, about DCSD Program. The talk will also present opportunities for young faculty and provide helpful guidelines for writing a successful NSF proposal.
Bio: Dr. Kelkar currently holds the position of Program Director of DCSD Program in CMMI Division at NSF. He also holds the position of Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Prior to joining NSF, he was an Associate Chair for Research and Technology Transfer in Mechanical Engineering and also Professor-in-Charge, Industry Research and Entrepreneurship for College of Engineering. He is a prominent scholar in the area of Dynamic Systems and Control. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, in 1993 while working as a Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA. Dr. Kelkar is a Fellow of ASME, Associate Fellow of AIAA, and Member of IEEE. He is a recipient of NSF’s prestigious CAREER award in his early faculty career. He continues to lead various leadership activities in ASME and IEEE professional societies. He has held the positions of Associate Editor for key ASME and IEEE journals, served on Program Committees for various IEEE and ASME conferences, and also organized and chaired several technical sessions at these conferences. His research has led to several patents and more than 130 archival publications which include several conference and journal articles, handbook chapters, and research monograph. His research has been in general area of dynamics and control with focus on modeling and control of aerospace systems, control theory, active control of vibrations and noise, and very recently, in alternative energy technologies. Dr. Kelkar is also a co-founder of four different technology start-ups which are very successful in acquiring competitive projects from NSF, NASA, and DoD. Three of these companies have also won awards at the state level and have successfully commercialized technologies developed by Dr. Kelkar. Dr. Kelkar’s research and entrepreneurial success has led to several newspaper and magazine articles and interviews on national and local public radio stations and local TV stations.