Undergraduate Research

Scott Bellinghieri, Mechanical Engineering




“I recommend this experience to anyone who it is offered to and thank UMass Lowell for giving me this opportunity.”

"This summer, I have been given the opportunity to partake in a research co-op with Prof. David Willis. The topic of my research is classifying the types of flying creatures who use flapping flight. In order to accomplish this goal, I have been cataloguing many different creatures while recording a multitude of different characteristics for each bird. Some of the characteristics I have been paying attention to are aspect ratio, wingspan, amplitude of flap, and about 20 other categories as well. I have been compiling this data by looking through papers and books which I have found online and through the library. I have an excel sheet filled with data that I will eventually use to plot all these characteristics against one another to look for patterns. In these patterns, I hope to discover some universal trends that apply to all flapping creatures which will help me to categorize them into various "regimes" of flight. We hypothesize that there are specific regimes based solely on engineering-like specifications, as opposed to the conventional way of classifying these creatures which is based on biological and geographical data. This experience is exciting and rewarding and I am happy to be a part of it. It's great to meet new people in my field while working on something new and different. I feel as if I am taking advantage of my summer doing something with more of a purpose than flipping burgers. I recommend this experience to anyone who it is offered to and thank UMass Lowell for giving me this opportunity."