The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Wayne Neu, an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering, for his work creating unmanned and autonomous ships of the future.
Neu has helped design, construct, and test autonomous surface and underwater vehicles including a very small, high-speed vehicle, a high-endurance self-mooring vehicle, and several general-purpose vehicles.
With colleagues he has even designed and tested a bio-inspired, prototype fish using flexible matrix composite muscle technology for fin and body actuation.
Neu focuses on thehydrodynamic design, propulsion, and general mechanical aspects of autonomous vehicles.
For example, rudders, flaps, and mechanisms that guide a vehicle are known as control surfaces. Neu has studied the performance of control surfaces in various conditions to determine effects on maneuverability.
His underwater vehicle work simulates the fully-nonlinear dynamic response of the vehicle to inputs from a proposed control system as it “flies” through the water.
This effort has applicability to both the autonomous underwater vehicle research as well as to the dynamics of large manned underwater vehicles.
His research has included topics in fundamental turbulent flow, ocean wave mechanics, wind generation of ocean waves, and ship-design optimization as well as autonomous underwater vehicle hydrodynamic design.
Projects have included simulation of the dynamics of monohull ships, surface-effect ships, and underwater vehicles. The surface-effect ship work produced the first high-fidelity representation of the free surface response under the craft at forward speeds in both calm water and in waves.
Neu has been active with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, now known as ABET. He is also a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Education and has had leadership roles with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, SNAME National Education Committee, American Geophysical Union, Sigma Xi, the National Association of State Universities, and Land Grant Colleges Board on Oceans and Atmosphere.
Neu received his doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in Engineering Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.