Matthew Clarke

Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Durand Building
Stanford, CA 94305

Personal Website


  • Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2018 - Present.
  • M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 2018.
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Howard University, Washington DC, 2016.
  • Research Interests

    • SUAVE
    • Aircraft Conceptual Design
    • Multi-Fidelity Optimization
    • Multi-Disciplinary Design Optimization
    • Urban Air Mobility
    • Probabilistic Modelling for Aircraft Design

    Current Research Focus

    My currently work examines the feasibility of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for personal and urban on-demand air mobility. With no tried-and-true design, as seen in commercial aircraft, these eVTOL concepts have come in all imaginable sizes and configurations. The wide breadth of unique concepts prompts several questions. What methodologies or lack thereof are employed in analysis, sizing, and design? Or how design requirements linked to system performance are incorporated? This project introduces novel empirical weight build-up methodologies for estimating operational weight of eVTOLs and proposes a design framework identifying high level design requirements for aircraft component sizing and selection. These components include but are not limited to lifting surfaces such as wings, the number of rotors and their configuration and payload. The performance of existing eVTOL concepts can be leveraged to predict the performance of an arbitrary eVTOL configuration.


    MacDonald, T., Clarke, M., Botero, E. M., Vegh, J. M., & Alonso, J. J. "SUAVE: An Open-Source Environment Enabling Multi-fidelity Optimization." 18th AIAA/ISSMO Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization Conference. 2017.
    Clarke, M., Norman N., and Smith S. "Hybrid-MCX-1, BWB and 777 Aircraft Comparison." ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2015.