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Darren Hartl
Darren Hartl | Image: Igor Kraguljac

Dr. Darren Hartl received his B.S. in 2004 and Ph.D. in 2009 in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University. He currently holds joint appointments at the Air Force Research Laboratory as a Research Scientist in the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and a Visiting Researcher in the Aerospace Systems Directorate. His work bridges the topics of advanced multifunctional material systems and their integration into aerospace platforms using genotype–phenotype topological approaches. He also retains a minority appointment as a TEES Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, where he is mentoring four graduate students, two of them on national fellowships. His team addresses research problems ranging from self-folding origami-based structures to self-regulating morphing radiators for spacecraft to phase transforming sensory particles enabling the NASA/Air Force “Digital Twin” initiative. Darren has over 13 years of experience working with Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) and morphing structures and his efforts have included both experimental and theoretical studies and he has worked collaboratively with both governmental and industrial sponsors considering medical, oil exploration, aeronautical, and space-related applications. Since 2006, Darren has co-authored 86 technical publications (including three textbook chapters) on the topics of active materials modeling, testing, and integration into morphing structures. He has given over 20 invited or plenary talks (8 international), and has taught short courses on SMA theories and methods in Seattle, England, Greece, and elsewhere. Since 2014, he has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures. 

Most recently, Dr. Hartl has teamed with six other investigators from Michigan, UCLA, Stanford, and the University of BC, including two avian biologists, on a $4 million / three-year Air Force-funded effort to rigorously address bird-inspired aircraft morphing, including aspects of sensing, control, and solid-state actuation, enabling advanced and adaptive wing kinematics.