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Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University

Dr. James W. Gregory is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Director of the Aerospace Research Center at The Ohio State University. He received his doctorate and masters degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University in 2005 and 2002, respectively. He received his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1999, graduating with highest honors.
Under his leadership as Director, the Aerospace Research Center has expanded interdisciplinary collaborations to include colleagues from industrial engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and medicine. The Center now has engagement from over 15 faculty, approximately 50 students, 6 research staff, and 7 support staff. Under Dr. Gregory’s leadership, the Center’s research expenditures have grown from $2.8M in FY17 to $6M in FY19, and a projected $8.5M in FY20. Dr. Gregory serves as PI for Ohio State as a core member of the ASSURE FAA Center of Excellence on Integrating UAS in the National Airspace System, and is lead PI for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s $6M Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management (UTM) system. Dr. Gregory also led a team of researchers and students to set official world records for speed and distance for an autonomous drone in August 2017 (sanctioned by NAA and FAI, and reported on in Aviation Week magazine).
Dr. Gregory’s research interests lie at the intersection of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) and unsteady aerodynamics, including flight testing of vehicle performance, systems integration studies, robust flight of UAS in all weather conditions (wind and icing), unsteady airfoil loading, and low-Reynolds number rotor wake studies. Funding for his work since 2008 has totaled over $18M, including grants from ARO (Young Investigator Award), ARL, AFOSR, AFRL, FAA, NASA, Sikorsky, Honda R&D, the Ohio Federal Research Network, and the Ohio Department of Transportation. His research has resulted in the Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal, a best paper award presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers; and the Alfred Gessow Award for co-author of the Best Paper at the 68th American Helicopter Society Forum.
Dr. Gregory’s teaching innovations have led to the McCarthy Engineering Teaching Award, the Department of Aerospace Engineering Outstanding Professor Award, and the SAE Ralph Teetor Award. He has produced a video lecture series on the Science of Flight, in collaboration with the Great Courses and the Smithsonian Institution’s Air & Space Museum. This video course, with 24 half-hour lectures, has sold over 12,000 copies with an additional 20,000 hours of online streaming in the first two years alone. Dr. Gregory has also made his own video recordings of his Introduction to Aerospace Engineering course, and has used these to “flip” the classroom in this large, sophomore-level course, leading to a full letter grade improvement in the class average. He has also developed a number of innovative course design projects and labs including an international collaboration for aerial detection of buried landmines, high-altitude balloon launch, analysis of US Airways flight 1549 flight recorder data, glider design/build/fly, and airfoil design/build/test using rapid prototyping.
Dr. Gregory’s work experience includes stints at the US Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate, Delta Air Lines, NASA Glenn Research Center, Tohoku University in Japan, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Technion in Israel. He has also served as a policy fellow at the National Academy of Engineering through the Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Air Force Academy, funded through the National Research Council Research Associateship Program. He is an instrument rated private pilot, with over 330 flight hours in single-engine aircraft, and is one of the first holders of a remote pilot certificate under part 107.


  • –present
    Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University