Two students, Alexandra Matthews, biology, and Wade Holen, physics-engineering, are conducting research with Dr. Jacobs, physics–sustainability, on retrofitting an aircraft for battery energy storage and electric motor propulsion.

They presented their findings at the Detroit Lakes chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association on March 5 and at the Fargo Chapter on March 12. The aircraft, a restored 1930s Pietenpol, and electric conversion should be completed by June 2012. Flight-testing should start in July.