David Johari Bertram Mapunda

Smiling man with brown eyes and black hair. He is wearing a satin dark blue button down shirt

Program: Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. Program

Expected Graduation Date: 2027

Area of Research: Sustainable air propulsion

Link to Research Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-mapunda-967b40b3/

Email: mapunda.1@osu.edu

Why are you interested in sustainable energy solutions? Initially, I was mainly focused on creating electric engines that would rival the propulsive efficiency of modern jet engines because they are noisy and pollute the environment. I wanted to integrate the technology in my work as an aerospace engineer, and as a side hustle, use them for an exosuit I planned to develop in the near future. But as I expanded my knowledge on aero-propulsion, I understood the need to account for the policies and laws, public opinion, and the effects of plane electrification as they directly affected my career goals and interests. Thus grew my concern for sustainable energy solutions as I saw the opportunity to network, learn, contribute and further expand my pursuit for eco-friendly engineering solutions.

How are your personal history and vision assets to development and research in energy and sustainability? The chase for energy and sustainability is an ever-growing quest that increases parallel to the growth of society and technology. For instance, when researching jet engines, I realized that despite modern engines being almost 70% more efficient today than in the 50s, they still contribute about 2.5% to global carbon emission, with an expected annual increase of up to 4% until 2040. Therefore, siphoning from my interests in air propulsion, I became educated in factors affecting the efficiency and performance of jet engines, aiming to improve them and be at the forefront of electric hybrid air propulsion. Furthermore, during the summer of 2021, I participated in the Research in Sustainable Energy (RISE) internship at the Ohio State University, where I received training in computational tools used for the design and optimization of electrical, hybrid, and unconventional planes, which are the core of sustainable air transportation. I plan to use this foundation to research and integrate more eco-friendly air propulsion systems and educate future engineers seeking sustainable air propulsion.

What is your dream job and how will it contribute to a more sustainable energy landscape? First, I want to work as an engineer on projects concerning electrification and the hybridization of the aviation industry. I've seen similar projects being a focus with NASA, Boeing, Airbus, Uber, and other similar companies, and I want to use my experience in aerodynamics, jet propulsion, and sustainable aviation to facilitate progress towards Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and sustainable long-haul flights. In tandem with that, I want to use my knowledge and network to initiate and support sustainable energy and engineering efforts, particularly in Africa and other developing regions where global warming would cause more significant effects. I would achieve this through active participation as an educator in tertiary institutes and a facilitator for sustainable development debate to inspire more youths towards energy and sustainable studies and careers. I am open to working with federal agencies such as the FAA, international organizations such as ICAO and UNICEF,  and global NGOs to help accomplish my goal. .

Who are potential key partners for your research? At the Ohio State University, I want to partner with the Center for Automotive Research and the Aerospace Research Center because they have extensive experience in vehicle automation and electrification, and aerospace power and propulsion, respectively. I want to learn from their expertise which will further my research and career in sustainable air propulsion. External to the university, I want to work with NASA, which has displayed interest in researching electric and hybrid air propulsion, which are central to my preferred career and goals. I cherish the opportunity to network and learn from the experts in the fields of plane electrification, vertical take-off and landing, and urban air mobility, which will help expand my knowledge and prepare me as an engineer and educator in sustainable air propulsion.

Hobbies/Personal Interests: Driving, Adventures, Swimming, Singing, Cycling, Cooking, Keyboard, Skating

double-arrowRelevant Technical Skills: 

CAD - AutoCAD, CAE - Solidworks, CFD - Numeca, Ansys CFX, Matlab, Python, MS - Word, PowerPoint, Excel

double-arrowCurrent Projects: 

Urban Air Mobility (UAM)
Compressor Stall

double-arrowPublications and Presentations:

Mapunda, D. (2021, July 29) The Quest for Urban Air Mobility [Conference presentation]. The Consortium at Ohio State Symposium, Virtual. https://osu.zoom.us/rec/share/y0oL6Bxf5I4-FIpjHpegsTSNnG4xIhK7XO7qaY8ualsm7MtoIgpJcSrcbvhdEyWJ.-OucWmQa00z3NhjI?startTime=1627328056000