MATRIX Lab Research Spotlight: Dr. Anthony Malatesta

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Dr. Malatesta works with University of Maryland student in the SMART Building's Mechanical Engineering Lab

Dr. Anthony Malatesta supports the University of Maryland (UMD) MATRIX Lab both in his position with the Navy and through his UMD appointment.

As the Director of Engineering Education and Research Partnerships for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Strategic Education Office, Dr. Malatesta facilitates, grows, and manages research partnerships between NAWCAD and academic institutions like UMD. He also develops education programs that build NAWCAD’s technical pipeline and STEM base.

Additionally, Dr. Malatesta works as a lecturer for UMD. He includes Naval aviation content in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and materials science course material. He also develops unique electives such as Aircraft Propulsion, Power, and Thermal Management Design and Simulation.

Dr. Malatesta completed a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering through the Southern Maryland Engineering Program (SMD-E) where he had a paid internship in the NAWCAD Cost Department and had his tuition covered by NAWCAD. The program offers a seamless pathway to a bachelor's degree in mechanical or electrical engineering through a partnership between NAWCAD, UMD, USMSM, and the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). Students in the program have unique access to state-of-the-art USMSM SMART Building and UMD MATRIX Lab facilities, as well as the exceptional opportunity to work with MATRIX Lab researchers.

“SMD-E is essentially one of the greatest opportunities in the world for people interested in a career in engineering,” Dr. Malatesta said. “Having been very fortunate to travel a good bit in my life, I can safely say that having your top-tier education paid for while having a paid internship and then a guaranteed job after graduation is simply unparalleled.”

To learn more about the program and what it involves, click here.

Upon graduation, Dr. Malatesta was accepted into a UMD doctoral program. His researched focused on establishing a practical range of jet fuel properties using hybrid machine learning-physics based models.

While completing his doctorate, Dr. Malatesta started and led the Thermal and Electrical Modeling Lab within NAWCAD’s Propulsion and Power department, establishing power and thermal modeling resources to support the Naval Aviation Enterprise.

A man of many talents, Dr. Malatesta also plays the guitar, the ukulele, the mridangam, and a few other string and hand percussion instruments. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance before going into engineering.

“I wouldn’t have been successful in engineering without the time I devoted to music. It helped me develop discipline, to be analytical, and to also be creative and to fail – all of which are needed to be a successful engineer,” Dr. Malatesta said. “Many people think of engineers as inflexible process-oriented types but I think that I have been helped tremendously along my journey by applying a creative approach along with a decent understanding of math and physics to solve problems.”

Dr. Malatesta’s father, Bill Malatesta, holds a UMD Electrical Engineering degree and is now the Education Lab Manager on the USMSM campus.

Published April 30, 2024