Upcoming Events

New events will be announced here when scheduled.

Past Events

Roving Mars: Spirit and Opportunity’s Exploration of the Red Planet
Lecture by Mr. Michael Staab, Flight Systems’ Systems Engineer, NASA
5.30 pm on May 30, 2019 - CoVE at Weber SST Building

In his lecture, Mr. Staab takes audiences on a 15 year, 300 million-mile odyssey from the Earth to our nearest planetary neighbor on a journey to discover Mars’ ancient past. The twin Mars Exploration Rovers were humanity’s first interplanetary robotic geologists, and with a suite of instruments found in any geologist’s toolkit, searched for the geological evidence of a wetter, more temperate climate in Mars’ ancient past suitable for supporting life. Come along on the adventure of a lifetime, experiencing the excitement of planetary exploration through the eyes of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and the perspective of the engineers and scientist who make it possible.

About the Speaker: Mr. Michael Staab is a Flight Systems’ Systems Engineer assigned to the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) mission and the PI of a Mars UHF Constellation Relay proposal at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. He was formerly a Spacecraft Systems Engineer/Flight Director and the Lead Systems Engineer for Dust-Storm Operations for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, a Flight Controller, or ACE, for NASA's Cassini Mission to Saturn, and a Mission Systems' System Engineer for NASA's Mars 2020 rover. Mr. Staab served as the Activity Lead for the recovery of the Opportunity rover following a Planet-Encircling Dust Event (PEDE) in June 2018, leading the recovery efforts to re-establish contact with the 14 year old rover that concluded surface operations on February 12, 2019. Mr. Staab is, in addition, an Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer in the United States Navy Reserves, supporting the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) communities. He is an active public speaker in the Los Angeles community and an avid SCUBA diver, pilot, and outdoorsman.

The Nature of Vortex Ring State
Talk by Dr. Albert Brand, GT-AE Alumnus and Bell's Senior Technical Fellow for Flight Technology
9.00 am on April 26, 2019 - CoDE at Weber SST Building

Rotorcraft engineers face unique and daunting challenges across a spectrum of disciplines. When it comes to power required, the dominance of the rotor’s vortex wake becomes apparent. In certain descent conditions the rotor wake can yield an aerodynamic phenomenon called vortex ring state. In this condition a rotorcraft can require more power to descend than it takes to climb - and a straightforward application of power will not be able to arrest the descent rate. This talk provides a comprehensive description of the vortex ring state phenomenon - a region of the rotorcraft flight envelope that is typically prohibited.

About the Speaker: Dr. Albert Brand is the Senior Technical Fellow for Flight Technology at Bell and a Technical Fellow of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) International. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s school of Aerospace Engineering and was in the first graduating class of the school’s Rotorcraft Center. Dr. Brand’s 30-year career with Bell includes experimental testing & analysis, with a 7-year assignment at the PAX River Naval Air Station where he supported V-22 flight testing with groundbreaking work on vortex ring state. At PAX, he was also the AWB Test & Evaluation Lead for the Presidential Helicopter Flight test program. More recently, he served as the Technology and Test Lead for Bell’s newest commercial helicopter, the 525 Relentless, and was Bell’s most recent Director of Flight Technology. In his current role, Dr. Brand provides technical oversight on all major programs at Bell and he enjoys teaching a Helicopter Fundamentals course to new hire Engineers.