Graham Rolph

Cal Poly Undergraduate Summer Research Assistant (2017)

Project: Bird Wing Aerodynamics

About Graham

I am Graham Rolph, a senior aerospace engineering student with an aeronautics concentration at Cal Poly. I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, but was born in Los Angeles, California, and growing up I always wantedto return to the west coast. The engineering pedigree of Cal Poly made it an easy choice once I was accepted. Some of my favorite pastimes include skiing, hiking, and watching sports. I also played for the Cal Poly rugby club my first two years at Cal Poly,however, sadly I had to give it up to focus more time on my studies. 

What are you working on?

This summer I will be working with Dr. Doig to develop an easier and more effective method of modeling the primary feathers of large birds such as the Brown Pelican or the California Condor. We will be expanding uponthe thesis work of a former Cal Poly graduate student, David Martin, who used 3D scans of a Brown Pelican wing to create a biologically accurate model which could be tested in Cal Poly's Low Speed Wind Tunnel. David found that due to the complex shapes of thewings and their primary feathers, the wing was difficult to model in CAD software like Solidworks. This summer I will be working with a 3D modeling and animation software called Blender. We hope to create a new process of modeling the wings using Blender inorder to simplify the process for the user and achieve more biologically accurate models.

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