Darren L. Hitt, Ph.D.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Vermont

Director, Vermont Space Grant Consortium & NASA EPSCoR 

Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA)

Greetings. I am a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Vermont, having arrived here in 1998.  I also serve as the Director of the Vermont Space Grant Consortium & NASA EPSCoR Program for the State of Vermont, a role I assumed in 2013.  

My background training is in the area of theoretical and experimental fluid dynamics, and my doctoral degree is in mechanical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.  
My long-term research interests have dealt with the physics of complex flows on the micro/nano-scales and I approach these problems using a combination of theory, computation, and experiment. More recently, my research foci have expanded into the areas of spacecraft propulsion and orbital mechanics.

Current research projects involve: (1) micro-scale monopropellant propulsion for next-generation “nanosats” and "cubesats" ; (2)  evolutionary computing for orbital trajectory optimization for single satellites and formations of small satellites; and (3) Computational models for gravitational fields of small, irregular celestial bodies (asteroids and comets).  Past and current support for these studies come from National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). 

I teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including, various thermo-fluid mechanics,  advanced engineering mathematics, rocket propulsion, and orbital mechanics.

 

Contact:  802.656.1940 or darren.hitt@uvm.edu