Leland Jones

Leland Jones
Mentor: Dr. Shannon Ridgeway
College of Engineering
"I enjoy doing research because it gives me the chance to get involved in projects that don't exist during standard curriculum. Control design and implementation are important in all areas of engineering and I enjoy being able to apply the concepts learned as a student to my own real world problems."


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Electrical Engineering

Research Interests

  • Dynamics and Controls
  • Robotics
  • Guidance and Navigation

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program


  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Teaching Assistant for Mechanics of Materials Lab and Controls Lab


  • UF Nonlinear Controls Lab
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - Outreach Events K-12

Hobbies and Interests

  • Running
  • Kickboxing
  • Jiu-jitsu
  • Reading

Research Description

Design, Manufacturing, Control, and Testing of a New Concept for a Submarine Thruster
Over the course of summer 2013, fall 2013, and spring 2014 semesters, I will be working one on one with Instructor Shannon Ridgeway to design, manufacture, and test a new design concept for a submarine thruster. The goal of this research project is to combine a Kort Nozzle with a brushless motor like actuator to produce the thrust in the nozzle. A concept is conceived that eliminates the conventional drive train and replaces it with a simple hydro-dynamic bearing, greatly simplifying the device. A Kort nozzle, also known as a ducted propeller, is a nozzle with a fitted rotating propeller inside. Kort nozzles are used extensively in the marine industry particularly in situations where high thrust and slow speeds are necessary. Brushless motors, or electronically communicated motors, are motors which are powered by a switching power source. These differ from brushed motors in that they commute the power between electromagnets without contacting the armature. We will use permanent magnets fixed in an armature that also incorporates the propeller. The armature will be propelled by an external stator field that is commuted electronically. This integration idea is different from other submarine thrusters in that others are driven by a central motor, shaft, stuffing box configuration. Driving the propellers from the circumference of the nozzle eliminates the need to have any of the mass at the center of the nozzle where almost no thrust is created and drag is increased. The goal of the research is to establish practical efficiency levels expected from the concept.