Mihary Ito

Photograph Mihary Ito Picture


M.S. Mechanical Engineering
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2019

B.S. Mechanical Engineering
B.S. Engineering Physics
LeTourneau University, 2015



Mihary grew up in Antsirabe and Antananrivo, two cities located in the heart of the central plateau Madagascar. An interest in math and science that she developed from a young age propelled her to pursue a Math, Physics, and Chemistry concentration for her High School Baccalaureate. After high school, she became the first Malagasy student to attend LeTourneau University in Longview, TX where she pursued a dual-degree (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics. While she has always had a lingering interest in aviation and aerospace, her passion for aerodynamics and flight mechanics became more apparent during her senior year when she joined LeTourneau University’s STOLMA (Short Takeoff and Landing Mission Aircraft) Senior Design team. As a member of STOLMA, Mihary conducted takeoff analysis, structural analysis, and contributed to the early stages of construction of the aircraft. In 2017, Mihary joined University of Illinois’s BAM lab as a graduate student to continue pursuing her research interests and to contribute to the further development of UAV design.



When Mihary first joined the lab, she started out working on the ornithopter project. Her research focused on characterizing the UAV both in lab and in flight. This was accomplished by collecting and analyzing flapping angle data, power consumed data, and aerodynamic loading data. For that, a bench-top data collection apparatus was implemented and used to obtain the necessary information for characterization. An in-flight data acquisition system was also designed and is being currently tested and implemented. Additionally, groundwork for using motion capture to analyze the behavior of the ornithopter during flight was established during a recent flight test. To further understand flapping flight and to complement the in-flight data collected, Mihary also developed a preliminary aerodynamics model for flapping flight. All these efforts lead toward designing the ornithopter as a research platform for the various adaptive structures investigated within the lab.

Since Summer 2017, Mihary has been continuing the research on the alula-inspired leading-edge device. Previously, BAM has investigated the effects of placing a Leading-Edge Alula Device (LEAD) on a high-lift and low Reynolds number airfoil (2D) and have seen favorable results at high angles of attack. Mihary’s research focuses on fine-tuning the previously conducted experiment, investigating the effects of the leading-edge device placed on a finite wing (3D) on the flow, and implementing the alula, along with other devices investigated within the lab, as adaptive structures on a fixed or flapping wing platform. Further understanding of these aerodynamic devices are instrumental in the design of the next generation fixed and flapping wing UAVs.Top of Form

Email mri2@nospam5e4cc1e712575.illinois.edu