Zachary Norris

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2023

Zachary Norris
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FURI | Fall 2022

Optimizing the Design of Structural Joints for Use in Composite UAV Structures

With the increasing availability of prefabricated composite spars, there is an opportunity to integrate these products into the structure of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In using these composite spars, engineers must consider how to best create the complicated geometries that are employed in a small UAV’s vehicle design, necessitating the use of composite jointing techniques. Therefore, using simulation and testing, this project seeks to refine both the joint geometry and bonding techniques used to further optimize the structural design of a small UAV, allowing for the development of a more efficient aircraft in its manufacturing, operation, and sustainment.


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Additional projects from this student

Developing a testing methodology to evaluate the viability of composite joints for use in the structure of a small unmanned aerial vehicle will allow for more efficient designs.


  • FURI
  • Spring 2022