October 02, 2013
Sue Ratz

Parks College Names Distinguished Professor of Aeroelasticity

David Peters, Ph.D., joined the Saint Louis University faculty in August 2013, and in 2007, devoted a sabbatical to the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Dave Peters joins named distinguished professor.
Pictured from left to right are Dean Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D.; Interim Department Chair of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D.; Distinguished Professor of Aeroelasticity David Peters, Ph.D.; and Parks Coordinator of Safety and Student Learning Outcomes Swami Karunamoorthy, D.Sc. Submitted photo

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology has named David Peters, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor of Aeroelasticity.

Peters is a new face on campus, but no stranger to Parks College or Saint Louis University. In 2007, Peters devoted a sabbatical to SLU's Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. During that time, he worked with the senior design class on their project of autonomous swarms of micro-helicopters. Additionally, Peters has been coming to SLU's campus regularly as a guest lecturer in the aerospace engineering program.

"In the future, I hope to work with the younger faculty at SLU in helping them to formulate and execute research and teaching plans that improve the quality of education and research at SLU as well as improve the school's ranking," Peters said.

The SLU connections do not end there. Peters served as the thesis advisor for Swami Karunamoorthy, Sc.D., Parks Coordinator of Safety and Student Learning Outcomes, who graduated from Washington University in 1985. In fact, the pair has co-authored several papers. Together, they developed a state-space unsteady air loads model for two-dimensional airfoils. This model has been applied extensively to helicopters and is now in the U.S. Army's RCAS model, in Bell Helicopter's codes and in the FlightLab code of Advanced Rotorcraft Technology.

"Dr. David Peters is an international expert in Rotorcraft Dynamics as well as Applied Aerodynamics research," said Karunamoorthy. "His recent innovation on Finite State Aerodynamics theory is widely used in helicopter industry. Over the years, I have worked with him in guiding several Parks students in their master's theses. In fact, Christina Garcia Duffy, a Parks alum, worked on her doctoral thesis with Dr. Peters and is currently serving in leadership role at Augusta Westland, a helicopter industry in the U.K. Dr. Peters is not only a great researcher; he is also a great teacher. He will be a great asset to Parks College in his new role of Distinguished Professor. It will be beneficial to both students and junior faculty members."

Peters' research interests lie in dynamics, aeroelasticity and applied aerodynamics (especially in helicopters). Specifically, his publications center on aerodynamic models for rotorcraft that run real-time applications to flight simulators and design calculators.

"David is a recognized educator and researcher in the field of helicopters," said Interim Department Chair for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D. "Faculty and students in the department will greatly benefit from his professional experience and contacts."

Prior to his doctoral studies at Stanford University, Peters was an associate engineer at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in St. Louis after working as a research scientist in the Army Air Mobility R and D Laboratory. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he joined the faculty at Georgia Tech, where he serves as the associate director of Rotorcraft Center of Excellence. However, he has maintained his appointment as a full-time faculty member at Washington University since 1975.

"Dave enjoys worldwide recognition as a pioneer in aeroelasticity research," said Parks College Dean Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D. "He is a leading and respected educator, an outstanding mentor to students and faculty, as well as a Bible scholar. Over the past two decades he has freely contributed to scholarly activities at Parks College. This is an overdue recognition of an established collaboration, which we hope will further flourish in the future."

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