SF is Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Liverpool since September 2015. Sebastiano is an experimentalist and a designer interested in linear/nonlinear aeroelasticity and active control. His long-term research goal is to develop a framework that allows to embed active aeroelastic control systems into the early stages of the aircraft design for exploiting their beneficial effects on the whole aircraft. He has designed several aeroelastic models that feature complex interactions of aero- and structural dynamics as well as actuation and sensing. Sebastiano performed/performs wind tunnel test campaigns in several facilities exploring different measurement techniques (amongst them, the PIV) and validating experimentally many active control algorithms (feedback linearization and receptance method) in real time environments. Sebastiano is also interested in morphing systems and he designed and developed the High Bandwidth Morphing Aerofoil (HBMA), first morphing aerofoil capable of aeroelastic control.
SF research interests span also to mechatronics (KTP grant with NeedleSmart, Co-I; Royal Academy of Engineering with AutoTurtle, Co-I), autonomous vehicle (a2e Venture Capitalist PhD scholarship for Undrame3D, Co-I) and soft actuators.
Engineering Design: SF has more than ten-year experience in engineering design and he is interested in designing systems with embedded mechanical intelligence. He led the design of several aeroelastic models for wind tunnel testing, morphing actuators for aeronautical applications and dynamic rigs for vibration control. He also has been involved in the design of self-deployable solar panel systems, soft actuators and functional prosthetic wrist. Dr Fichera has experience with designs involving composite materials and explored their use in his designs (dry and wet carbon and glass fiber, autoclave molding, RTM). Dr Fichera has an excellent knowledge of the most common commercial CAD software such as CATIA, Solid Edge/Works, ProE/CREO and he is also interested in the open CAD software alternatives such FreeCAD and Blender.
Engineering Modelling: SF designs are developed by using a wide range of modelling techniques. His models are mainly representing linear/nonlinear dynamic systems coupled with aerodynamics and the different actuators dynamics. Analytical models (Matlab/Simulink/C++ based) are used at the early stage of each design. Advanced simulations are then developed for more detailed analysis. Due to his background in continuum mechanics, Dr Fichera has an in-depth knowledge of implicit and explicit finite element methods; he is an expert user of Nastran (including flutter analysis, gust response and DMAP language) and most of the commercial FE solvers (Abaqus, LS-DYNA) as well as of multi-body (Adams, MBDyn) and CFD solvers (Fluent, OpenFOAM)
Experimental Testing: SF strong expertise lies in his ability to design and run complex experimental activities. The experimental validation of an idea is, in his opinion, the best way to unlock its full understanding, allowing the investigator to go further with the theoretical development.
SF main research interest is in experimental nonlinear aeroelasticity, in Liverpool he develops and runs two aero-servo-elastic rigs representing a 2 degrees-of-freedom wing and a modular, multi-control-surface, flexible wing, respectively. These rigs are tested in the wind tunnel facility of the Aerodynamic lab he is in charge of. The main purpose of his activity is to develop, explore and test different real time active controllers for flutter suppression or gust loads alleviation.
SF has also a strong expertise in experimental modal analysis of linear and nonlinear systems.
- Admissions Tutor for Aerospace Engineering programmes