Michael Patterson

Position: PhD Student

Michael Patterson is a PhD student who has been working under the advisement of Dr. German at Georgia Tech since August 2010. Michael has always loved aircraft and holds a private pilot's license and instrument rating. His research is focused on air vehicle performance and design. Michael is interested in studying design methods, the design of novel aircraft concepts, and developing and applying new multi-disciplinary design, analysis, and optimization (MDAO) techniques to aircraft design. He is currently studying the influence of electric propulsion systems on the performance and design of aircraft.

In his free time Michael enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and dog. He loves playing ultimate frisbee and is a big college football fan. He also enjoys water skiing, photography, and backpacking.


  • BS, Aerospace Engineering, Auburn University, 2010
  • MS, Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012

Work Experience

  • Engineering Co-op, Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, AL, 2007 to 2008
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 2009 to 2010
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2010 to Present

Research Projects

  • DARPA META Project
  • Reconfigurable Aircraft Performance, Design, and Optimization
  • Thrust Constraints on Optimum Aerodynamic Efficiency
  • On-Demand ''Zip'' Aircraft Conceptual Design and Development, NASA
  • Conceptual Design of Aircraft with Distributed Electric Propulsion Systems, NASA


Honors & Distinctions

  • NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program Fellow, 2013
  • Robert G. Pitts Outstanding Aerospace Senior Award, 2010, Auburn University
  • Eagle Scout

Memberships & Service

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), student member
  • Phi Kappa Phi, member
  • Tau Beta Pi, member
  • Sigma Gamma Tau, member