Matt Asper

"I found out UVA had a partnership with Rolls-Royce, and had an Aerospace Research Lab with equipment from NASA, so I knew studying AE at UVA would be a great choice."

Describe your current UVA engineering research.

Icing on aerodynamic surfaces, such as aircraft’s wings and engine’s inlet guide vanes, is an important problem in the aerospace field. This usually happens due to the accumulation of supercooled droplets at high altitudes on these surfaces. Ice once formed on these surfaces reduces performance by either increasing drag in the case of the wings or decreasing the engine intake air mass flow rate. In severe conditions, aircrafts may stall and lose engine power. With the goal of attempting to find a solution to the icing problem, I have been conducting research at UVA’s icing facility since May of 2017 along with a PhD candidate. My research involves conducting ice accretion/adhesion tests on various objects (airfoil, cylinder) in an icing wind tunnel, and then using hydrophobic surfaces to mitigate icing accretion. The two hydrophobic surfaces used to do so are an oil-infused elastomer and a ceramic cylindrical porous material provided by researchers in Greece, Nikolaos Vourdas and Vassilis Stathopoulos, which employs backpressure to reduce ice accumulation.

Awards, scholarships, UVA community programs and clubs

2018 Aviation Week Network 20 Twenties Award Recipient
Dean's List
Tau Kappa Epsilon
Multiple Sclerosis Society at UVA
UVA Combots
UVA Triathlon Club
UVA Cycling Club

UVA research projects and advisors

Rolls-Royce project on anti-icing coatings for turbine engines – Advisors: Eric Loth, Edem Tetteh

When did you know you wanted to be an engineer? What drew you to aerospace engineering?

In high school I realized I was proficient in Math and Physics, so I started to pursue the engineering field of academics. I became interested in Aerospace Engineering because I originally wanted to be an astronaut, so I started leaning towards the space side of engineering, which ultimately led to pursuing a degree in AE.

Why did you choose UVA MAE?

I toured UVA in the fall of my senior year, and I completely fell in love with UVA. The architecture, nature, and city all attracted me. I found out UVA had a partnership with Rolls-Royce, and had an Aerospace Research Lab with equipment from NASA, so I knew studying AE at UVA would be a great choice.

What do you plan to do with your degree?

I plan to enter into a graduate program and study the structure/materials field of aerospace engineering.

"I attribute much of my success at UVA to not only being involved in the classroom, but also joining clubs, research projects, and professional organizations. Doing this has allowed me to build my network within the aerospace industry, which has given me tremendous opportunities."