Josiah Waite

Photograph Josiah Waite
Department M.S. in Mechanical Science and Engineering, 2017


M.S. in Mechanical Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Class of 2017

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Brigham Young University-Idaho, Class of 2015


Josiah grew up in a rural area north of Indianapolis, Indiana. After high school, he received his private pilot license, which instilled a love of flying. In 2008, he left home to attend Brigham Young University-Idaho. He took 2 years off from school to go to Long Beach, California, where he spent his time as a full-time missionary. He later returned to school and completed a BS in mechanical engineering in April of 2015. Shortly thereafter, Josiah joined the University of Illinois BAM Lab. In his research at the lab, he combines his love of flying with his interest in mechatronics and control. In the future, he hopes to contribute to a company that is committed to developing innovative vehicle control solutions.

Covert-Inspired Deployable Structures for Separation Control and Gust Alleviation

Josiah’s research looks to nature to solve some of man’s technological problems, specifically problems encountered by aircraft. When a wing encounters adverse pressure gradients during flight, the flow around the wing may separate and cause the wing to stall. It is believed that birds are able to correct for this loss of lift by deploying special feathers on their wings called covert feathers. The purpose of this research is to develop intelligent structures for aircraft that are analogous to covert feathers for birds in order to delay flow separation and prevent stalls in unfavorable flight conditions.