TOCS Event-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

TOCS Event-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

TOCS Event


Alec Proudfoot


Chief Designer, Proudfoot Design

Engineer, Google's RechargeIT Plug-In Vehicle Project

Engineer, GM Impact Prototype


July 9, 1:30 pm



CMUSV, Rm 118 [directions]

[login as guest]

Title: Dead Simple Human Powered Airplane (DaSH PA) Project

The DaSH PA project stands for "Dead Simple Human Powered Airplane" -- a project started by a group of engineers, just for the fun; to learn while designing and building something challenging and a bit out there.

We will talk about the mechanical design challenges in the project and how computing resources were put to bear on both the design of the airplane through finite element analysis and on our plans for the avionics -- the sensors, display and downlink.  

We will first cover the history of human powered flight and discuss the motivation for starting the project. Then we will talk about the design of the airplane, how computing resources were used in the design process, and how they were not used. Finally, we'll talk a lot about the construction techniques and how one goes about building an airplane that is half the weight of the pilot but has a wingspan larger than a 737 jetliner.

Speaker Bio:

Alec Proudfoot of Proudfoot Design is Chief Designer on the DaSH human powered airplane project. He was the engineer at Google Inc. who started the RechargeIT plug-in vehicle project. He was a member of the engineering team that created the GM Impact prototype. This was produced as the GM EV1, the first modern high power AC induction electric vehicle.

Alec has followed the alternative fuel vehicle scene as an engineer, a consumer, and journalist -- some of his footage appeared in the documentary film "Who Killed the Electric Car." In addition to his alternative fuel vehicle work, Alec's engineering career, spans fields from aviation to medical devices to telecommunications, and has also worked as a professional helicopter pilot.  Most recently, Alec was a renewable energy engineer at Google working on the RE<C project, and previously worked as an engineering manager on imaging related applications for projects including Google Book Search and Google Maps. In his "20% time," Alec advised, Google's philanthropic organization, on energy and transportation issues.