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Kenneth Visser

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Kenneth Visser
Associate Professor
361 CAMP
Clarkson University
PO Box 5725
Potsdam, NY 13699-5725

T: 315-268-7687     F: 315-268-6695
Research site:

B.Sc., University of Calgary (1986)
M.S., University of Notre Dame (1988)
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame (1991)

Dr. Visser is the faculty advisor for the the Design, Build and Fly Team and the co-advisor with Professor Jha of the Clarkson AIAA Student Chapter. He is also the advisor for Sigma Gamma Tau, the Aerospace Honors Society. Courses taught include:

AE200 - Aeronautical Engineering Seminar
AE429 - Aircraft Performance and Flight Mechanics
AE430 - Stability and Control of Aerospace Vehicles
AE450/451 - Aircraft Design I & II
HP200 - Honors Sophomore Problem Solving Course

Research Interests
Dr. Visser's research interests are primarily applied experimental aerodynamics and also include such areas as aircraft design, sustainable energy, and experimental measurement techniques. More information can be found on his research web site. Below are several current project areas.

Ground Vehicle Drag Reduction
The aft end of ground vehicles is often a design compromise between functionality and aerodynamics. Traditional transport vehicles have a flat aft end which creates a large drag on the vehicle at highway speeds. The use of extendable flat plates mounted to the truck doors to reduce drag is being studied in the wind tunnel and on full scale vehicles.

Renewable Energy Technologies
Distributed power generation is a viable strategy to complement the present day grid system, especially for rural homes and farms. Concepts for especially for rural homes and farms. Concepts for multi-bladed rotors are being studied to increase the efficiency of small, homeowner sized turbines. Novel tidal energy extraction concepts are also being studied. These projects are part of the Wind Energy Research Group under the Clarkson Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.

Vortex Flows
Wing-tip rollup and formation is a complex process and the design of an appropriate wing-tip to maximize the overall advantage to an airplane design is not always that obvious. Research is focused on optimizing the possibilities of raked wing-tip concepts and investigating the nature of the shear layer that forms the leading-edge vortex structure in a delta wing flow field.

Selected Publications
K. Grover and K.D. Visser, "Over-the-Road Tests of Sealed Aft Cavities on Tractor Trailers," SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibit, Rosemont, IL (Oct/Nov 2006).

B.S. Lazos and K.D. Visser, "Aerodynamic Comparison of Hyper-Elliptic Cambered Span (HECS) Wings with Conventional Configurations," AIAA-2006-3469, 25th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, San Francisco, CA (June 2006).

M.C. Rector and K.D. Visser, "Solidity, Blade Number, and Pitch Angle Effects on a One Kilowatt HAWT," AIAA-2006-0608, 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV (January 2006).

M.A. Khan, P. Pillay and K.D. Visser, "On Adapting a Small PM Wind Generator for a Multiblade, High Solidity Wind Turbine," IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion, Vol. 20, No,3, September 2005 Bennington, M.A. and Visser, K.D., "Aerial Refueling Implications for Commercial Transports," AIAA Journal of Aircraft , Vol. 42, No. 1 (January-February 2005).

K.D. Visser,  Ferrero Ferrero, M. del Carmen and R.C. Nelson, "Physical Considerations of Leading Edge Flows," AIAA 2004-5083, 22nd Applied Aerodynamics Conference, Providence, RI (August 2004).

J.D. Coon and K.D. Visser, "Drag Reduction of a Tractor-Trailer Using Planar Boat Tail Plates," The Aerodynamics of Heavy Vehicles: Trucks, Buses, and Trains, Lecture Notes in Applied and Computational Mechanics, Vol. 19, McCallen, Rose; Browand, Fred; Ross, James (Eds.), XII, 567 p.378, with CD-ROM., Hardcover, ISBN: 3-540-22088 (2004).

M.M. Duquette, J. Swanson and K.D. Visser, "Solidity and Blade Number Effects on Small Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines," Wind Engineering, Vol 27, No. 4, pp. 299-316 (2003).

M. Duquette and K.D. Visser, "Numerical Implications of Solidity and Blade Number on Rotor Performance of Horizontal-Axis Wind Turbines," Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Vol. 125, No. 4, pp. 425-432 (November 2003).

N.P. Gold and K.D. Visser, "Aerodynamic Effects of Local Dihedral on a Raked Wing Tip," AIAA-2002-0831, Reno, NV (January 14-17, 2002).