About


Who is this guy?

About Ben

My name is Ben Brelje (BREHL-jee) and I'm a Ph.D. student and NSF research fellow at the University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Lab (MDOlab). I'm currently on educational leave from Boeing where I am a configuration design engineer with Boeing Research and Technology.

In a nutshell, I create simulation and optimization tools to foster the next generation of aircraft. I consider myself a hybrid aero-software-systems engineer. My active research areas include design optimization of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft as well as high-fidelity MDO with spatial integration constraints. 

From 2015 to 2017 I worked for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Product Development, running MDO trade studies on jet transport aircraft concepts. Before that, I was a full-time rotational engineer with Boeing's Engineering Career Foundation Program, starting in 2014. I served in rotational engineering roles spanning all stages of the product life cycle (from preliminary design to post-production support) across the company's Commercial Airplanes, Defense, and Technology business units.

I previously earned Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Aerospace Engineering at Michigan and a systems engineering certificate from MIT.

In my spare time, I love exploring the outdoors, especially travelling light and fast in the mountains. My favorite activities include trail running, hiking, ski touring, mountaineering, and cycling. In the past I have maintained the outdoor blog Elevated

About this Site

This site will serve as a hub for sharing my research (both the exciting results and the gory details and dead ends along the way) and for helping you stay updated on the fast-moving field of electric flight. 

If you are technically inclined, you can view the source code for the site at my GitLab repo below! Powered by Python

Editorial Policy and Fair Use Statement

I sometimes use copyrighted material (such as publicly-available images and renderings of vehicle designs created by manufacturers) as an integral part of my technology news reporting and analysis. I claim that use of these images constitutes fair use under the CMSI "Set of Principles for Fair Use in Journalism", specifically "When copyrighted material is used as illustration in news reporting or analysis." 

  • Purpose and character: This is an educational and scholarly site engaging in commentary and analysis.
  • Nature of the copyrighted work: I only use images that are freely available on the web from the manufacturer / designer, usually made available for promotional purposes rather than for sale or licensing.
  • Effect of use on the market: Images I use are made freely available and not offered for sale or licensing; my use of the work does not deprive the copyright owner of income related to the copyrighted work.
As required by the CMSI standard, I will properly attribute the source of the material. If you believe that my use of an image you own does not constitute fair use, please contact me using the comment box.

I do not comment on or publish analysis on stories about my employer, The Boeing Company, for ethical and professional reasons.

Any content presented on this site is expressed solely in a personal capacity and in no way represents the official views of Boeing, the University of Michigan, or the National Science Foundation. 

I moderate all comments at my discretion. If you keep it professional I'll approve your comment. If not... I won't.