John Ramhorst Paris
MIT EECS | Angle Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Nature Inspired Super-Maneuverability
When it comes to maneuverability and efficiency, current ship designs pale in comparison to fish. One reason is that ships cannot change their fixed maneuverability and stability attributes between turning and cruising. Fins along the hull of a ship allow naval architects to shift the aerodynamic center permanently during design, but they cannot change their aerodynamic center while under way. However, fish such as tuna have been observed to use hydraulic control of their fin rays to morph their fins during cruising and maneuvering. Drawing inspiration from these fish, this project intends to design, simulate, and test morphing fins that enable surface crafts to achieve stability, efficiency, and super-maneuverability when necessary.
“Maneuverability ties closely to my academic interests in hydrodynamics and my personal passion in sailing and surfing. SuperUROP offers the unique opportunity to pursue this research with a depth and independence unparalleled in classes or regular UROPs. I will develop technical skills such as design iteration, simulation, and data measurement as well as research and communication techniques that are integral to becoming a successful researcher.”