Updated publications

Thanks to Google I can keep an updated list of my publications through their automatic tracking.

Google Scholar

Their software seems to have some issue with conferences, so I will summarize those.

I have contributed to the American Association of Aerosol Research (AAAR) conference  in 2011, 2012, and 2014 and I have presented my work at the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) in 2013.

It is also of interest to note that work that I completed for my Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course offered with the Preparing Future Faculty program was included in Dr. Ann Nichols-Casebolt's book titled Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research.


The Flying Car

My senior design project (Fall 08-Spring 09) for my undergraduate education was the design and construction of a Flying Car. Yes, like the movie.

The team I was working with was funded by several businesses and organizations surrounding the Richmond area, one of them was the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society. They recently posted an article about the project.

I have attached the full text below.

A Flying Car at VCU?

by Michael Mercier, VCU School of Engineering

This past April 2009, a team of five Mechanical Engineering students at Virginia Commonwealth University unveiled their Senior Design project - the Hover Car Air Transport.

The Hover Car Air Transport is a vehicle that will take off and land vertically like a helicopter. However, unlike a helicopter, it will be safer and easier to fly within an urban environment, in-between buildings. With this capability, this flying car-like vehicle will serve as an urban emergency response vehicle, a military transport and a personal air vehicle. Currently, the first phase of many has been completed toward this design.

For the past year the team of five sacrificed many weekends and nights to contribute to the project. The work was advised by Dr. Raman Pidaparti, a VCU Mechanical Engineering Professor. As the team worked together, everyone had an area of speciality. The team leader, Michael Mercier, has had the dreamed of building a personal air vehicle since he was a young boy. He pitched the idea to the team and found sponsors to make it possible. Keeping the reality of the goals in check was Paul Inskeep, an experienced welder and lead fabricator. Kwan Burke brought the design ideas digitally to life using SolidWorks CAD software. These visuals were crucial to the advancement of the design process. The technical and mathematical analysis of the design was spearheaded by Landon Holbrook. These analyses confirmed the feasibility of the design. The fifth team member, Ben Rickey, diligently worked without tiring on all aspects of the prototype construction.

A full scale prototype of the Hover Car was built by the team in only nine months while they all studied with full course loads. The prototype was built to act as a research and testing platform for the final design. Three main components were designed, built and tested. The first system was the vehicle frame. This was built using steel tubing to save time and money, while a final version will probably be built from carbon fiber and aluminum. The second system was the lift system. This system amounted to two six-foot shrouded propeller configurations . Shrouding a propeller increases lift by limiting the negative effects of an open propeller and also by “focusing” the thrust and better utilizing the momentum of the flowing air. Finally, a drive system was constructed which transferred power from two engines to the propellers. The system uses a chain drive to keep complexity low and allow for the propellers to be spun in opposite directions.

Funds and support to build the vehicle required the sponsorship of several local and distant organizations. The Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society was one of the largest donors and was a key to the successful building of the Hover Car prototype. Because of this support and the hard work and dedication of the team, the project won first place for Excellence in Design in Mechanical Engineering at the VCU Engineering Senior Design Expo in April. The Hover Car is currently on display at the Virginia Aviation Museum at the Richmond International Airport. It will remain there for the summer as the team continues work and testing on the prototype. In the fall, it is hoped that more VCU engineering students will take on the challenges to design the remaining systems of the vehicle, so that it will one day soon be flying over head

A space for Clarification

I, Landon Holbrook, do wish to tell you more about myself. I do exist on facebook, on Linkdin, on Goodreads, and at vcu, http://www.egr.vcu.edu/me/index.html. I contribute to and manage blogs here and here. My most current resume is available for download.