Suleman, Afzal

Professor

Contact

Phone number: (250) 721-6039
Email: suleman@uvic.ca
Department: Mechanical Engineering

Research description:

-Aeronautical, Automotive and Aerospace Engineering,
-Computational Mechanics and Experimental Mechanics,
-Applied Vehicle Technologies
-Solid mechanics
-Multidisciplinary Design optimization
-Fluid-structure interaction-
-Active aeroelastic and morphing aircraft structures
-Ocean energy and technology.
Expertise Profile
Search and rescue missions could be a lot safer by using small, unmanned aircraft, says engineer Afzal Suleman.

Currently, pilots conduct searches by flying helicopters, often through poor flying conditions or over dangerous terrain such as cliffs. They risk their lives every time they go out. Unmanned aircrafts would reduce the dangers by finding and recording the missing person's location with minimal human interaction, says Dr. Suleman.

Rescuers could then fly directly to the victim, avoiding some of the more perilous situations. "It makes it safer for people participating in the mission, and it's cost-effective. If we lose a small unmanned aircraft, it's not a big deal because they're low-cost machines, but if we lose a person or a big aircraft, then it is a big deal."

Dr. Suleman, working closely with industrial partners and Transport Canada, studies how to make unmanned aircraft more energy-efficient and therefore better suited to run search and rescue missions. He looks for lighter materials and more efficient designs that allow the aircrafts to use less fuel while flying further.

Each year, Dr. Suleman employs up to 10 co-op students to help him with his research at UVic's Centre for Aerospace Research in Sidney, where they work on plane design, manufacturing and instrumentation. "The program works well for them and for us," he says. "This is how we bring our research to undergraduate students."

Related Links
Afzal Suleman's Faces of UVic Research video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd0P77Kh-YQ

International research:

-Active Aeroelastic Aircraft Structures with a European Consortium funded by EU.

Countries lived or worked in:

Mozambique, Portugal, England, USA.

Languages:

Portuguese and French

Community projects

Dr. Suleman is involved in research in advanced composite materials and structures with Profile Composites Inc. on Vancouver Island.


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