The Aerospace, Mechatronics and Energy (AME) building and Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP) in Tallahassee’s Innovation Park adopted new management models and leadership under the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering on July 1, 2020. This was the culmination of a three-year transition period which began in July 2017.
Dr. Chiang Shih
Dr. Lou Cattafesta
Dr. Rajan Kumar
“I am glad to announce that Dr. Chiang Shih will take on the role of AME Director,” FAMU-FSU Engineering Dean Murray Gibson said. “With increased synergy between the joint college and the research centers, and support from the FSU Office of Research, engineering activity at AME centers will flourish.”
The largest centers within the building are the Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP) and the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control and Robotics (CISCOR). FCAAP was formed to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving and highly competitive aerospace industry. Its main facilities include polysonic, subsonic, supersonic and anechoic wind tunnels, as well as a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) jet facility.
CISCOR is a state-of-the-art robotics and mechatronics research space developed to engineer practical solutions to problems in systems, control and robotics for applications in industry and government. It houses the Scansorial and Terrestrial Robotics and Integrated Design (STRIDe) and Optimal Robotics Laboratory laboratories, both led by mechanical engineering professors.
In addition to FCAAP and CISCOR, the AME building is home to environmental engineering labs and chemical wet laboratories for chemical and civil/environmental engineering faculty, as well as administrative and graduate researcher office space.
Shih succeeds Professor Lou Cattafesta, University Eminent Scholar and Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Cattafesta was the AME director during the transition. He remains an important part of the research faculty at FCAAP and is now the founding director of the Green Air Transportation Ecosystem (GATE) Center, an exciting new research thrust at the college.
Rajan Kumar, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering, has been named as the new director of FCAAP. Kumar is a very active researcher in the aerospace and high speed aerodynamics areas and will use his experience to expand upon FCAAP’s activities with government and industry stakeholders.
Shih and an executive committee comprised of the directors of the research centers within AME will be responsible for administrative management of building and organizations, reporting to the college’s Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, Farrukh Alvi. The AME center will retain staff to support operations for the centers, including human resources, finance and grants management.
“The efficient consolidation of administrative positions will be preserved,” Alvi commented, “while the independent intellectual direction of FCAAP and other research centers in AME will be strengthened.”
The Aerospace, Mechatronics and Energy building is a 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art research facility completed in 2008 by the Florida State University Office of Research. It contains several faculty and research centers embracing 16 faculty, all of whom are members of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. The building is located in Tallahassee’s Innovation Park, just a short walk from the FAMU-FSU Engineering building. Since joining the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in 2016 as dean, Gibson has worked with the FSU Office of Research to bring AME’s centers and facilities--strategically critical to the future of the college--fully under the umbrella of the joint college.