Principal Investigator

Andrew Ning

Andrew Ning is interested in the complex tradeoffs that occur in engineering design. The design of wind energy and flight systems involves strong interactions across multiple disciplines. Optimization is a useful tool in exploring these design decisions. In addition to design applications, he is interested in developing fundamental algorithms and methodologies for efficient aerodynamic analysis and optimization.

Dr. Ning received his PhD and MS degrees from Stanford University in the Aircraft Aerodynamics and Design Group. After graduation he worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on wind turbine aeroelastic analysis and optimization. He loves engaging in ideas and learning with the excellent students and faculty at BYU. Outside of engineering he enjoys mountain biking, soccer, basketball, and reading.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Cibin Joseph

Cibin Joseph is interested in rotorcraft aerodynamics, mid-fidelity and reduced-order aerodynamic modelling, and high-performance computing in general. He is dedicated to improving computational models and optimization frameworks that enable faster, more effective design of aircraft. Despite immersing himself in mathematical models of aircraft all through his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Cibin’s child-like fascination with aircraft still remains. Hailing from the state of Kerala in India, he enjoys working on his forever-unfinished programming projects, listening to music, and striving to improve his violin skills.

PhD Students

Judd Mehr

Judd Mehr graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Science degree in April of 2016, majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics and emphasis in Aerospace. He is currently researching the aerodyanmics of Airborne Wind Energy kites, specifically investigating rotor on wing interactions. Judd is most recently from American Fork, Utah, but has spent time living in California, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia. In addition to engineering, he enjoys designing and building projects at home, hiking, cycling, camping, cooking, and going on small adventures.

Teagan Nakamoto

Teagan Nakamoto grew up on a chicken farm on the Big Island of Hawai’i and graduated April 2017 from BYU with his BS Mechanical Engineering degree and a minor in editing. He is researching applications of convex optimization to wind farm design. Among a great many other things, Teagan enjoys reading Brandon Sanderson books, running mountainous trails, eating Spam musubis, and listening to metal remakes of Disney songs.

Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson is intrigued by the design of eVTOL aircraft, particularly utilizing computational aerodynamics and acoustics models. This interest began with an Honors thesis at the conclusion of his BS Mechanical Engineering degree at BYU in 2019. He has experience researching the effects of weather on the aerodynamic and battery performance of fixed and rotary wing drones, and assisted in the development of a fixed wing drone for the AUVSI-SUAS competition in 2019. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at BYU. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing basketball, rock climbing, hiking, and making music with friends.

Tyler Critchfield

Tyler Critchfield is interested in electric VTOL aircraft design optimization to reduce acoustic environmental impact, with the goal of promoting public acceptance and eventual integration of urban air mobility into modern society. Tyler is from Puyallup, Washington, and graduated from BYU in 2019 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Business Management. In his free time he enjoys hiking, family history, sports, and playing board games with family and friends.

Adam Cardoza

Adam Cardoza is interested in the physics that describe the world of motion, especially flight. He enjoys building multifaceted aerodynamic models to explore the capabilities of different aircraft. Current research interests include computational modeling, systems optimization and algorithm development. Adam graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Mathematics and Ballroom Dance. He enjoys camping, climbing and cooking. Recently, he has begun building and flying remote control aircraft.

Benjamin Varela

Benjamin Varela is interested in modeling complex aerodynamic systems, especially those relating to wind energy. His goal is to create tools to design more efficient wind farms through accurate modeling and advanced optimization of complex systems. Benjamin graduated from BYU with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2021. In his free time he enjoys playing board games, listening to music, cooking, and hiking.

James Cutler

James Cutler is interested in wind farm optimization. His past experience involves optimization of turbine tilt in a wind farm, wind farm layout optimization with boundary and cabling cost constraints, small wind turbine design and testing, damage equivalent load calculations for simulations of Sandia’s SWIFT site wind turbines, and design of post-processing tools for Sandia’s high-fidelity Nalu-Wind simulations. He is currently researching wake modeling methods that can sufficiently capture complex aerodynamics associated with wind farm control strategies such as periodic pitch control. He enjoys collaborating on art projects with his wife, watching and making movies, gardening, sports, and exploring new ways of cooking.

Eric Green

Eric Green is interested in the design optimization of VTOLs with a focus on using medium-to-high fidelity aerodynamic models to model unsteady flight. Eric graduated from BYU in 2021 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In his free time he enjoys hiking, climbing, and playing an assortment of musical instruments.

Andrew Tagg

Andrew Tagg is a PhD student currently studying and researching in the FLOW lab after obtaining a BS in Mechanical Engineering from BYU in 2023. His research interests are focused on employing mixed fidelity aerodynamic models to optimize the design and control of aircraft. Apart from his academic interests, Andrew enjoys going for runs, hiking, cycling, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Justin Hawkins

Justin Hawkins obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace emphasis from BYU in 2023. His dual interests in renewable energy and fluid mechanics brought him to the FLOW lab where he plans to research offshore wind farm optimization. He is from Minnesota but has also lived in Virginia, California, Tennessee, Idaho, and served a mission in Ecuador. In his free time he enjoys hiking, board games, and model making.


Former Postdoctoral Students

Former PhD Students

Former MS Students

Former Undergraduates