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OpenVSP Core Team

Rob McDonald

Rob received his BS from the University of Missouri at Rolla and his MS and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech (all in Aerospace Engineering); he has worked on geometry tools for aircraft design since 2001. McDonald was a member of the Aerospace Engineering faculty at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo from 2006-2017 and then was the Head of Vehicle Engineering for Uber Elevate from 2018-2020. He now consults on the design of electric and eVTOL aircraft and the development of conceptual aircraft design tools like OpenVSP.

Brandon Litherland

Brandon Litherland began his NASA career as a Pathways student in the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch (ASAB) at Langley Research Center in 2014 while pursuing his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He converted to Civil Service after graduating in 2016 and continued to work on projects including NASA's X-57 Maxwell, the FUELEAP CAS Activity, and developing conformal, folding propellers. His awards include being named the 2018 NASA ASAB Innovator of the Year and the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal. He is currently working on the integration of the X-57 Maxwell high-lift propulsion system and creating an online training library for the open-source parametric geometry modeling program, Open Vehicle Sketch Pad.

Justin Gravett

Justin Gravett is an Aerospace Engineer at Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) in San Luis Obispo, California with a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Justin has been an OpenVSP developer since 2016 through multiple Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants awarded to ESAero, primarily by NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Early contributions to OpenVSP included export features like AutoCAD (*.dxf) and Xpatch (*.facet), followed by the release of the structural modeling and FEA Mesh generation tool in 2017. Some of Justin's more recent contributions include the Generic Cross-Section Editor (EDIT_CURVE), trimmed CAD export, API documentation, and VSPAERO v6 GUI. He has also made improvements to the OpenVSP API, presented at OpenVSP Workshops, and fixed countless bugs. Justin and his colleagues at ESAero have effectively used OpenVSP as an integral part of their aircraft design workflow and are committed to supporting its further development.

J.R. Gloudemans

J.R. received his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. His work at NASA includes RAM, a 3D parameter based aircraft modeler, and bezier surface intersection and trimming libraries. At Shoreline Studios, he assisted in the development and deployment of FoxTrax, a system for enhancing the visibility of the puck in hockey games. As a founding member of Sportvision, he worked on a variety of broadcast enhancements, including AirF/X, Telestrator, K-Zone, SurroundView, and 1st & Ten, where he was the project manager and lead developer.

Mark Moore

Mark had a 30 year NASA career, the entire time focusing on conceptual design studies of advanced aircraft concepts. He received his Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Stanford University and has worked towards a PhD at Georgia Tech. He has authored many technical publications promoting a future vision of distributed and on-demand aviation. After NASA, he was the Director of Engineering for Uber Elevate. He is currently founder and CEO of Whisper Aero, a startup focused on developing quiet propulsion technologies.

Andy Hahn

Andrew Hahn is now retired, having worked at NASA for over 30 years, all of it in Systems Analysis, doing mostly conceptual aircraft design. He has worked on projects that span the full range of aeronautics from heavy lift and ultra high altitude lighter-than-air craft, through vertical takeoff jet fighters, Uninhabited Air Vehicles, Personal Air Vehicles, commercial airliners, and even a small Mars airplane. He is currently performing a Propulsion-Aerodynamic Integration for an airliner with an Over-Wing-Nacelle and is one of the principle people behind the development of Open Vehicle Sketch Pad (OpenVSP). Mr. Hahn has a Masters degree from Leland Stanford, Jr. University and a Bachelors degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, both in Aeronautical Engineering.

Bill Fredericks

Bill Fredericks started at NASA Langley Research Center as a coop student in Jan 2003. Following graduation, he joined the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch where he then worked until 2017. One of his early assignments at NASA was to exercise VSP in order to find bugs in the software. He graduated from Purdue University in December 2006. His notable projects he has performed include: Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle Aerodynamic Database, Truss-Braced Wing Airliner for Fuel Efficient Cruise, Dynamic Soaring UAV to gather data in hurricanes. His most notable project is the design, fabrication and flight testing of Greased Lightning, a cruise efficient VTOL demonstrator. It has the goal of achieving 4x improvement in the cruise efficiency of VTOL rotorcraft. Bill is a very experienced VSP modeler, and most of the really good VSP models in the Hangar come from him. Bill uses VSP to not only perform conceptual design, and also to directly feed rapid prototyping of concepts that have gone to flight. He simply loves to ideate new advanced concepts and will model them in VSP for fun on his own time. Bill grew up flying. He started flying sailplanes at 13 years old and is now rated in gliders, single-engine, multi-engine and instrument rated and owns a Mooney M20J. Bill is also reserve artillery officer in the Marine Corps and deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. In 2017, Bill founded the Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC) to develop novel UAV's where he serves as CEO.

Alex Gary

Alex received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While there he created and He was also a significant contributor to the first versions of OpenVSP 3. Since graduating, he has worked in industry doing conceptual aircraft design and software development.