The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Kevin Kochersberger, an associate professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, for his work in unmanned systems research and his efforts to introduce unmanned aircraft into the national airspace.
With a team of students from the Unmanned Systems Laboratory, Kochersberger recently studied the use of an unmanned aircraft in response to a simulated highway accident scene. Observing were the governor, Virginia elected officials, and the chief of the Federal Aviation Administration.
It was not the first time Kochersberger demonstrated flight techniques in front of a large audience.
In 2003, he re-enacted the famous “First Flight” of Wilbur and Orville Wright in front of 35,000 attendees, including then-President George W. Bush and actor and pilot John Travolta. In addition, he worked on research and design of the 2003 reproduction of the Wright Flyer and led testing of the replica at NASA's Langley Full Scale Tunnel in Virginia.
As director of the Unmanned Systems Lab, Kochersberger brings together a diverse collection of researchers to a common facility dedicated to autonomous and remotely operated systems development and integration.
An Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Kochersberger’s research focuses on experimental aerodynamics, adaptive air vehicle design and control, autonomous fixed and rotary wing aerial systems, and experimental model analysis / vibration analysis.
He received all three of his mechanical engineering degrees from Virginia Tech.