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David Willis


David Willis is an Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the Francis College of Engineering's Mechanical Engineering Department, as well as Wind Turbine Research Group, HEROES all at UMass Lowell.
David J. WillisAssociate Chair for Undergraduate Studies

Research Interests

Computational/Experimental Aerodynamics, Engineering Education Research.

Computational/Experimental Aerodynamics: Computational & Experimental Aerodynamics/Aeroelasticity, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Aeroacoustics, Parachute Fabrics and Cords, Wind Energy, Low Reynolds Number Aerodynamics, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Engineering Education Research: Student Motivation, First Year Experience in Engineering, Educational Outreach.

Education

  • Ph D: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (2006), Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Other: Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (2003), Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Other: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, (2000), Carleton University - Ottawa, Canada

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Dean's Honour List - Carleton University
  • Faculty Scholarship, Scholarship/Research - Carleton University
  • ASEE-SFFP Summer Faculty Fellow (2012) - Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base
  • SGA College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (2012), Teaching - University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA
  • Mechanical Engineering Department Teaching Excellence Award (2010), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • US Association of Computational Mechanics (USACM) Postdoctoral and Young Investigator Travel Fellowship (2008) - 8th World Congress on Computational Mechanics, held in Venice, Italy
  • First Place, Informational Graphics Category, Science Magazine (2007) - NSF Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge
  • Graduate Fellowship (2004) - PGS-B Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Graduate Fellowship
  • Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement (2000) - Carleton University
  • Commissioner's Commendation (1999) - Canadian Coast Guard
  • Rolls-Royce Scholarship (1999) - Carleton University
  • Virginia B. Covey Bursary (1996)

Selected Publications

  • DiPaola, M., Willis, D.J., Leonardi, S. (2016) "A fast differential deficit control volume approach for modeling turbine-turbine interactions", 46th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
  • Bevan, J.J., Willis, D.J. (2016) "A high-order conservative Eulerian simulation method for vortex dominated flows", 46th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference
  • DiPaola, M., Willis, D.J. (2016) A rotating reference frame, integral boundary layer method pp. 3974
  • Weitzen, J.A., Rashid, M.M., Johnston, S.P., Maase, E.L., Willis, D.J. (2015) "A methodology for restructuring our first year introduction to engineering sequence at University of Massachusetts Lowell", American Society for Engineering Education 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society:
  • Vaillant, J.J., Hansen, C.J., Stolk, J., Johnston, S.P., Shina, S.G., Willis, D.J. (2015) "Design and implementation of an inexpensive laboratory for providing hands-on design prototyping and manufacturing experiences to engineering students", American Society for Engineering Education 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society:
  • Willis, D.J., Persson, P. (2014) "Multiple-Fidelity Computational Framework for the Design of Efficient Flapping Wings", AIAA Journal 52:12 pp. 2840-2854
  • Willis, D.J. (2014) "Using Enriched Basis Functions for Automatically Handling Wake-Body Intersections in Source-Doublet Potential Panel Methods,", Aircraft 51:6 pp. 1891-1903
  • Vaillant, J.J., Hansen, C.J., Stolk, J.D., Johnston, S.P., Shina, S.G., Willis, D.J. (2014) "Hands on made4me: Hands-on machining, analysis and design experiences for mechanical engineers", 121st ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
  • Vaillaint, J., Hansen, C., Stolk, J., Johnston, S., Shina, S., Willis, D.J. (2014) "Hands-On Made 4 ME: The impact of CNC technology in the early engineering curriculum", NSF-Grantees special poster session, ASEE National Conference
  • Willis, D., Salehipour, H. (2014) "From wakes to wings: Using a multi-fidelity approach to design flapping wings", SPIE DSS14 Micro-Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications Conference, Micro Autonomous Systems Technology (MAST): Performance Bounds and Trade Space Studies
  • Sousa, J.H., Willis, D.J., Persson, P.O., Granlund, K., Ol, M.V. (2013) "Design, Construction, and Validation of Compliant Wings for Flapping Flight", AIAA-Aerodynamics Conference 2013
  • Willis, D.J., Persson, P.O. (2013) "Generating LEVs on Energetically Optimal, Flapping Wing Designs by Modulating Leading Edge Angle", AIAA-Aerodynamics Conference 2013
  • Willis, D.J. (2013) "Implementing Automatic-Wake Body Intersections for Full Aircraft Configurations in Dirichlet Panel Methods", AIAA-Aerodynamics Conference 2013
  • Damplo, M., Niezrecki, C., Willis, D.J., Chen, J., Niemi, E.E., Agnihotra, S., Manohar, S., Desabrais, K., Charette, C. (2013) "Investigation of sensing textiles for intelligent parachute systems", AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems (ADS) Conference 2013
  • Desabrais, K., Rondeau, N., Fitek, J., Gibson, P., Godfrey, T., Willis, D.J. (2013) "Investigations of Parachute Fabric Permeability Under An Unsteady Pressure Differential", 22nd AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference
  • Willis, D.J. (2013) "Pilot Study: Impact of Service and Traditional Projects on Student Motivation, Learning and Professional Perspectives", 2013 ASEE Northeast Section Conference
  • Salehipour, H., Willis, D.J. (2013) "A coupled kinematics-energetics model for predicting energy efficient flapping flight", Journal of theoretical biology 318: pp. 173-196
  • Willis, D.J. (2012) "Automatic Wake-Body Intersections In Computational Aerodynamics", Automatic Wake-Body Intersections In Computational Aerodynamics
  • Damplo, M., Niezrecki, C., Willis, D.J., Chen, J., Niemi, E.E., Agnihotra, S., Manohar, S., Desabrais, K., Charette, C. (2012) "Sensing of electrically conductive textiles and capacitance sensor-embedded fabrics for parachutes", Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering 8345:
  • Favini, E., Agnihotra, S., Surwade, S.P., Niezrecki, C., Willis, D.J., Chen, J., Niemi, E., Desabrais, K., Charette, C., Manohar, S.K. (2012) "Sensing Performance of Electrically Conductive Fabrics and Suspension Lines for Parachute Systems", Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures 23:17 pp. 1969-1986
  • Willis, D.J. (2012) "Using Enriched Basis Functions for Automatically Handling Wake-Body Intersections in Source-Doublet Potential Panel Methods", 50th AIAA-ASM Meeting
  • Willis, D.J., Bahlman, J., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M. (2011) "Computational Study of Optimal Short Range Gliding Behavior", AIAA Journal 49:12
  • Salehipour, H., Willis, D.J. (2011) "A Coupled Energetics-Kinematics Wake-Only Energetics Prediction Tool", Wake-Only Energetics
  • Willis, D.J. (2011) "A quasi-inverse DLM for Micro Aerial Vehicle Flapping Wing Design", QI-DLM
  • Persson, P.O., Willis, D.J., Peraire, J. (2011) "Numerical Simulation of Flapping Wings using a Panel Method and a High-Order Navier-Stokes Solver", International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
  • Favini, E., Niezrecki, C., Manohar, S.K., Willis, D.J., Chen, J., Niemi, E., Desabrais, K., Charette, C. (2011) "Sensing Performance of Electrically Conductive Fabrics and Dielectric Electro Active Polymers for Parachutes", 2011 SPIE Smart Structures and Materials
  • Iriarte-Diaz, J., Riskin, D.K., Willis, D.J., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M. (2011) "Whole-body kinematics of a fruit bat reveal the influence of wing inertia on body accelerations", The Journal of Experimental Biology 214: pp. 1546-1553
  • Willis, D.J. (2011) "Energetics Considerations in Parachute Aerodynamic Design", AIAA-ADS
  • Favini, E., Niezrecki, C., Chen, J., Willis, D.J., Niemi, E., Manohar, S. (2011) "Sensing Performance of Electrically Conductive Parachute Fabrics", AIAA-ADS
  • Willis, D.J., White, J.K., Peraire, J. (2011) "A pFFT Accelerated Linear Strength BEM Potential Solver", MSM '04 7th International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems
  • Karni, E., Johnson, M., Stiltner, B., Fogleman, K., Gelhausen, P., Willis, D.J., Lind, R., Patil, M. (2011) "A Software Suite for Conceptual Design of Flapping Wing MAVs", AIAA-ASM
  • Persson, P.O., Willis, D.J. (2011) "High Fidelity Simulations of Flapping Wings Designed for Energetically Optimal Flight", AIAA-ASM
  • Salehipour, H., Willis, D.J. (2010) "A Novel Energetics Model for Examining Flapping Flight in Nature and Engineering", 2010 ECCOMAS CFD Conference
  • Favini, E., Niezrecki, C., Chen, J., Willis, D.J., Niemi, E., Desabrais, K.J. (2010) " Review of Smart Material Technologies for Active Parachute Applications", 2010 SPIE Smart Structures and Materials, Proc. SPIE 7643:
  • Salehipour, H., Willis, D.J. (2010) "A Wake-Only Energetics Model for Preliminary Design of Biologically- Inspired Micro Air Vehicles", AIAA-AFM
  • Willis, D.J., Salehipour, H. (2010) "Preliminary Design of Three-Dimensional Flapping Wings from a Wake- Only Energetics Model", AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference
  • Willis, D.J., Persson, P.O., Salehipour, H., Peraire, J. (2010) "A multi-fidelity framework for designing compliant flapping wings", Fifth European Conference on Computational Fluid Dynamics ECCOMAS CFD 2010
  • Salehipour, H., Willis, D.J. (2010) "A coupled kinematics and energetics model for flapping flight", 2010 Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
  • Persson, P.O., Willis, D.J., Peraire, J. (2010) "The Numerical Simulation of Flapping Wings at Low Reynolds Numbers", 2010 Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
  • Willis, D.J., Bahlman, J., Swartz, S.M., Breuer, K.S. (2009) "Energetically Optimal Flight Trajectories for Short Range Gliding Animals", AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
  • Swartz, S.M., Breuer, K.S., Willis, D.J. (2008) "Aeromechanics in Aeroecology: Flight Biology in the Aero- sphere", Integrative and Comparative Biology 48:1 pp. 9598
  • Riskin, D.K., Willis, D.J., Diaz, J.I., Hedrick, T.L., Kostandov, M., Chen, J., Laidlaw, D.H., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M. (2008) "Quantifying the complexity of bat wing kinematics", Journal of Theoretical Biology, 254: pp. 604-615
  • Willis, D.J., Israeli, E.R., Peraire, J. (2008) "Computational Investigation and Design of Compliant Wings for Biologically Inspired Flight Vehicles", 26th Congress of International Council of the Aeronautical Science
  • Willis, D.J., Persson, P.O., Israeli, E.R., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M., Peraire, J. (2008) "Multi-fidelity Approaches for the Computational Analysis and Design of Effective Flapping Wing Vehicles", Proceedings of the 46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
  • Willis, D.J., Peraire, J., White, J.K. (2007) "A Combined pFFT-Multipole Tree Code, Unsteady Panel Method with Vortex Particle Wakes", International Journal of Numerical Methods in Fluids 53: pp. 1399-1422
  • Willis, D.J., Kostandov, M., Riskin, D.K., Laidlaw, D.H., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M. (2007) "Modeling the Flight of a Bat", Science Magazine 317: pp. 1858-1863
  • Bardhan, J.P., Altman, M.D., Willis, D.J., Lippow, S.M., Tidor, B., White, J.K. (2007) "Numerical Integration Techniques for Curved-Element Discretizations of Molecule-Solvent Interfaces", Journal of Chemical Physics
  • Chen, J., Forsberg, A., Kostandov, M., Willis, D.J., Laidlaw, D.H. (2007) "The Effect of Using Large, High Resolution Stereoscopic Displays for Flow Visualization", International Conference on Computational Graphics and Interactive Techniques, Human Computer Interaction
  • Willis, D.J., Persson, P.O., Drela, M., Breuer, K.S., Swartz, S.M., Peraire, J. (2007) "A Computational Framework for Fluid Structure Interaction in Biologically-Inspired Flapping Flight", Proceedings of the 25th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
  • Willis, D.J., Breuer, K.S., Peraire, J. (2007) "A Computational Investigation of Bio-Inspired Formation Flight and Ground Effect", Proceedings of the 25th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
  • Swartz, S., Diaz, S., Riskin, D.K., Song, A., Tian, X., Willis, D.J., Breuer, K.S. (2007) "Wing Structure and the Aerodynamic Basis of Flight in Bats", Proceedings of the 45th AIAA Aerospace Science Meeting
  • Willis, D.J. (2006) "An pFFT-FMM accelerated, unsteady, Computational Aerodynamics Solver", FastAero
  • Willis, D.J., Peraire, J., Drela, M., White, J.K. (2006) "A Numerical Exploration of Parameter Dependence in Power Optimal Flapping Flight", Proceedings of the 24th Applied Aerodynamics Conference
  • Willis, D.J., Peraire, J., White, J.K. (2006) "A Quadratic Basis Function, Quadratic Geometry, High Or- der Panel Method", Proceedings of the 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
  • Sequeira, C.J., Willis, D.J., Peraire, J. (2006) "Comparing Aerodynamic Models for Numerical Simulation of Dynamics and Control of Aircraft", Proceedings of the 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
  • Willis, D.J., Peraire, J., White, J.K. (2005) "FastAero - a Precorrected FFT - Fast Multipole Tree Steady and Unsteady Potential Flow Solver", SMA Symposium
  • Willis, D.J., Peraire, J., White, J.K. (2005) "A Combined pFFT-Multipole Tree Code, Unsteady Panel Method with Vortex Particle Wakes", Proceedings of the 43rd AIAA Aerospace Science Meeting,
  • Willis, D.J., White, J., Peraire, J. (2004) "A pFFT Accelerated BEM Linear Strength Potential Solver", Proceedings of 5th International Symposium on Computational Technologies for Fluid/Thermal/Stress Systems with Industrial Applications, CFD for Design and Optimization

Selected Presentations

  • - UML Wind Energy Conference,
  • Improving the Aerodynamics of A Skeleton Sled - 2012 ISEE Conference, 2012
  • Improving the Aerodynamics of A Skeleton Sled - 2012 Student Research Symposium, 2012 - Lowell, MA
  • Computational and Experimental Fluid Dynamics Research at UML, November 2012 - Lowell, MA
  • Energetics in Aerodynamics, October 2012
  • Computational and Experimental Fluid Dynamics Research at UML - Cooper Perkins Engineering Consultants, 2011
  • Biologically Inspired Flight - AFRL-RQSE, November 2011 - Wright Patterson Air Force Base
  • - UMass Lowells Provosts Discussion Dinner on the First Year Experience, 2010 - Lowell, MA
  • Computation for Understanding (aero-structural aspects of ) Biologically Inspired Flight - International Micro Aerial Vehicle 2009 (iMAV 09) competition, June 2009 - Pensacola Florida
  • Computation for Understanding Biologically Inspired Flight - Presented at Giant Leaps MIT: MIT's 40th Anniversary Celebration of the 1969 Apollo Moon Landing, June 2009
  • Computational modeling of the aeromechanics of a bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), January 2009
  • Using Computation to Understand Biologically Inspired Flight, January 2009 - National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Using Computation to Understand Biologically Inspired Flight, September 2008
  • Boundary Element Methods for the Preliminary Design, Analysis and Optimization of Compliant Flapping Wings - WCCM-Eccomas, July 2008 - Venice, Italy
  • High Order Discontinuous Galerkin Methods, Algorithms and Applications - Unstructured Grid Technology for CFD, March 2008 - Eglin, FL
  • Multi-fidelity Computational Investigations of Biologically Inspired Flapping Flight, March 2008 - The Catholic University of America
  • Multi-fidelity Computational Investigations of Biologically Inspired Unsteady Aerodynamics, February 2008 - Loyola Marymount University
  • Computational Design and Analysis of Flapping Wing Vehicles, February 2008 - Arlington Catholic high School
  • A Multi-fidelity Framework for Modeling Biologically Inspired Flapping Flight - 14th International Conference for Finite Elements in Flow Problems, 2007 - Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Examining the exploitation of passive structural compliance in apping wings - 4th Massachusetts Institute of Technology Conference on Fluid and Solid Mechanics, 2007 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Invention, Innovation and Science in your Daily Life, December 2007 - John D. Runkle Elementary School
  • Aeroelasticity, Bat Flight and Computations - John Dugundji's Visiting Aeroelasticians, MIT, October 2007 - Boston, MA
  • Examining and Understanding Flapping Flight: A Convergence of Biology, Engineering and Computer Science, September 2007 - Brown University
  • Computational Investigations of Biologically Inspired Flapping Flight - ACDL Seminar, April 2007 - MIT
  • Computational Investigations of Biologically Inspired Flapping Flight, February 2007 - Smith College
  • A Computational Framework for Investigating Parameter Dependence in Flapping Flight - 7th World Congress on Computational Mechanics, 2006 - Los Angeles, California
  • Parametric Dependencies in Aero-Elastic, Articulated, Flapping Flight - American Physical Society, 59th Annual Meeting of the DFD, 2006 - Tampa, Florida

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Dynamic Stall in Rotation and Translation (), - NSF
    Willis, D.
  • Fostering Growth of Wind energy in Massachusetts (), Grant - Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
    Willis, D.
  • Hands-on MADE 4 ME (Hands-on Machining, Analysis and Design Experiences for Mechanical Engineering) (), Grant - National Science Foundation
    Willis, D.
  • Wind Tunnel Testing (), Grant - Airmar
    Willis, D.
  • Team UML-WIND: Wind Inspired by Natural Designs (), - National Renewable Energy Lab
    Willis, D.
  • Transient Fluid-Structure Interaction of Transverse Permeability in Fabrics (), - NSF
    Willis, D.
  • Wind Tunnel Testing (), - Lincoln Labs
    Willis, D.
  • Collaborative Research: I/UCRC for Wind Energy, Science, Technology, and Research (WindSTAR) (2014), Grant - National Science Foundation and company members
    Sherwood, J.A., Avitabile, P., Niezrecki, C., Hansen, C.J., Willis, D.J.
  • Team UML-WIND 2016 (2015), Grant - U.S. Department Of Energy
    Hansen, C.J. (Co-Principal), Willis, D.J. (Principal), Johnston, S.P. (Co-Principal), Niezrecki, C. (Co-Principal), Darish, M. (Co-Principal)
  • 2015 Wind Energy Research Workshop (2015), Grant - National Science Foundation
    Hansen, C.J. (Co-Principal), Willis, D.J. (Principal), Sherwood, J.A. (Co-Principal), Niezrecki, C. (Co-Principal), Inalpolat, M. (Co-Principal)
  • Hands-on MADE 4 ME (Hands-on Machining, Analysis and Design Experiences for Mecha (2013), Grant -
    Willis, D.J. (Principal)
  • Hands-on Machining, Analysis and Design Experiences for Mechanical Engineers (2013), Grant - NSF TUES program
    Johnston, S.P., Willis, D.J., Hansen, C.J., Shina, S.G.
  • The Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (Renewal) (2009), Contract - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)
  • Team UML-WIND: Wind Inspired by Natural Designs (2013), Grant - U.S. Department Of Energy
    Johnston, S.P., Willis, D.J., Hansen, C.J., Niezrecki, C., Yang, Y.
  • Income Account for 2011 Wind Energy Research Workshop (2011), -
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)
  • Effect of Time Dependent Pressure Differentials on Material Porosity and Permeabi (2011), -
    Willis, D.J. (Principal)
  • Collaborative Research: Planning Grant: I/UCRC for Wind Energy, Science, Technolo (2012), Grant -
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)
  • I/UCRC for Wind Energy, Science, Technology, and Research (2012), Grant - National Science Foundation
    Willis, D.
  • Wind Tunnel Testing of Airmar Prototype 300wx Weatherstation (2012), -
    Willis, D.J. (Principal)
  • Wind Energy Research Workshop (2011), Grant - National Science Foundation
    Willis, D.
  • Effect of Time Dependent Pressure Dierentials on Material Porosity and Permeability (2010), Grant - Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
    Willis, D.
  • NSF Engineering (2010), Grant - Common Good
    Willis, D.
  • Biologically Inspired Flight (2009), Contract - Brown University, AFOSR MURI
    Willis, D.
  • Smart Materials for Parachutes (2009), Grant - Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center
    Willis, D.
  • Biologically-Inspired Flight for Micro Air Vehicles (2008), Contract - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
    Willis, D.J. (Principal)
  • Workshop: 2011 Wind Energy Research Workshop, Lowell, MA August 2011 (2011), Grant -
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)
  • Wind Tunnel Testing of Airmar Prototype 300wx Weatherstation (2010), -
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)
  • Wind Tunnel Testing of a Loud Hailer Speaker System (2010), - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
    Willis, D.J. (Co-Principal)