Peter Sharpe

Aircraft Design, Multidisciplinary Design Optimization, and Applied Aerodynamics

Ph.D. Candidate in Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

About Resume

About Me

Hello there! My name is Peter Sharpe, and I'm a graduate student studying aircraft design, multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO), and applied aerodynamics in MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Welcome to my website! Come in. Have some tea. Stay a while.

Here, you'll find a portfolio containing a few of the projects that I've been working on lately! Due to the confidentiality of the designs and software produced through my professional activity, the projects listed here are exclusively academic or personal projects. For more details about my professional work, please see my resume or Github!

Please excuse any dead links, missing pictures, and 404 errors; this website is currently under construction!


Project Firefly @ MIT AeroAstro

I'm currently working on multidisciplinary design optimization for Firefly, a Mach 0.8 rocket-propelled autonomous drone. Firefly is fascinating to design, as it has many overlapping challenges: transonic shockwave formation, transitional Reynolds numbers, extreme thermal gradients, slow-burn propellants, wing unfolding, deployment stabilization, extremely high-altitude flight (>70,000 ft), and miniature electronics, to name a few. For more info, click here!


An open-source Python sandbox for playing around with aerodynamics ideas related to vortex lattice methods, coupled viscous/inviscid flow calculation methods, automatic differentiation for gradient computations, aircraft design optimization, and the like. For more info, click here!

WashU Design/Build/Fly

During undergrad, I founded and led WashU Design/Build/Fly, our aerospace design competition team. We annually design, build, and fly an airplane from scratch to compete with hundreds of teams in AIAA Design/Build/Fly. Check out this video and news article from our first year at competition, where we were the highest-placing team in the Midwest!

Electric Vehicles

I've had lots of fun building electric skateboards and bikes for myself over the years! Check out this video of my electric skateboard! These days, I use my homemade electric bike to commute to and from lab when the weather's nice!

RC Airplanes

Radio-controlled airplanes serve as excellent rapid prototyping testbeds for new ideas in aerodynamics and avionics! They're also so much fun to fly - check out this video of me flying a new airplane!

Learning to Fly

Recently, I've started working on obtaining my glider pilot's license!

Other Hobbies

This website wouldn't be complete without at least one non-engineering project! When I'm not building things, I enjoy rock climbing, making music, sailing, and cycling. I've also been painting lately - check out this goose I painted!

Engineer on!



MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (33-207)
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139