2021 Issue


UEC 2021 Engineering Educator of the Year: Doug Hunsaker

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This story appears in the
Utah Engineers Council Journal 2021 Issue

2021 Engineering Educator of the Year
Dr. Doug Hunsaker

Utah State University
Nominated by AIAA

Dr. Doug Hunsaker has been teaching at Utah State University since January 2014. His research focuses on computational methods ranging from potential flow to full Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes computational fluid dynamics (RANS CFD) for two-dimensional and three-dimensional modeling and optimization. These research efforts support improved aircraft efficiency interests of NASA and the Air Force Research Lab and the rapid design and optimization needs of the emerging drone industry. Doug also has a strong interest in studying unsteady flows as they pertain to flapping flight.

His teaching experience and interests include aerodynamics, flight dynamics, flight simulation, optimization, and statistics. He has consistently improved the quality and depth of aeronautics instruction within the MAE Department. He is engaging when in the classroom and is inspiring to both undergraduate and graduate students. He is willing to do anything he can to encourage student participation in projects, publications, and professional meeting presentations. Doug’s industry and academic collaborators often noted the quality and exceptional expertise of his students. This evidence of his teaching skill is particularly true of his work in the University Leadership Initiative. Many of those students are heading into advanced degrees and prestigious research and engineering positions in Utah’s aerospace industry.

Achievements include:

  • Assistant professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Utah State University
  • CEO of Blucraft, Sandia National Laboratories and AeroVironment
  • Nine honors, including this one, and 18 notable research awards
  • 18 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 55 presentations, with impressive outreach

Career highlights include the following:

  • He studied at Brigham Young University and USU.
  • His research focused on improved aircraft efficiency (NASA and the Air Force Research Lab and drone industry).
  • He is involved in AeroAcademy, an online aerospace learning platform with 1,400 visitors from over 70 countries and 190 users.
  • His YouTube channel has 50 views per day.
  • He participates in the University Leadership Initiative.