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Hannah Wiswell


Bachelor's of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, 2022

Concentration: Aerospace Engineering

Minor in Mathematics

Minor in Energy and Environmental Policy



Hannah grew up in Lewes, Delaware, where she got to see shore birds, crabs, and fish playing in the ocean every day. She went to the University of Delaware for her Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, and chose a concentration in Aerospace Engineering to pursue her love of aircraft design. Throughout her undergraduate career, she researched crack propagation, bioinspired propulsion, building resilience against root lodging in corn, Taylor-Couette flow, and von Karman flow. She is now pursuing a PhD at Princeton University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and working in the BAM lab, where she studies bioinspiration in aerodynamics. Now when she sees the shore birds swooping around at home, there's new excitement behind it!Outside of research, Hannah loves to play music, play badminton, go skiing, and engage in general malarkey.


The Role of Bioinspired Wingtips in Enhancing Aerodynamic Efficiency and Maneuverability in UAVs

Hannah’s research is focused enhancing efficiency, maneuverability, and adaptability in uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs). UAVs fly at low speeds like birds, and some birds like Harris's hawk are able to fly with both efficiency and agility in variable conditions (like close to the ground) due to their morphology. Understanding the flow physics behind how flow control devices like slotted wingtips enhance aerodynamics in flight can better inform the design of UAVs. In particular, Hannah is interested in the role of wingtips in improving flight in and out of ground effect. To investigate this, Hannah manufactures wings and wingtips using 3D printed materials and conducts experiments in the 4' x 4' wind tunnel facility at Princeton University. Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements are taken to observe the velocity field surrounding the wing, and force and moment data is collected. 3D printed materials are also used to alter the terrain beneath the wing to create a ground effect. Understanding the fundamental physics behind slotted wingtips and their role on ground effect will enable the creation of a new generation of UAVs capable of flying a broad range of flight missions.

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