AIAA Foundation Announces Winners of Its Region VI Student Paper Competition Written 16 April 2013

(AIAA Communciations 2008–2017)

55 Students from 11 Colleges and Universities Take Part

April 16, 2013 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation has announced the winners of its Region VI Student Paper Competition, held March 28 – 30 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event was sponsored by Brigham Young University (BYU), Provo, Utah. Fifty-five students from eleven colleges and universities took part in the competition.

AIAA Executive Director Sandra H. Magnus stated: “I was fortunate to be able to attend the Region VI student paper competition on March 29 and learn about what some of our student members are doing. I really enjoyed meeting with everyone and was actually a bit envious of the fun they were having digging into the various technical problems that they presented. With presentations ranging from rocketry, to understanding some fundamental wind tunnel parametrics, to the design of a vertical take-off/fixed wing UAV, I can say that the future of our industry is bright, especially with such exceptional young people in the education pipeline. I look forward to visiting other student paper competitions and seeing what else is going on around the country.”

The winners are:

  • Graduate Division: First place: Tyler Wilson, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore., for his paper “Wing-Flapping and Abdomen Actuation Optimization for Hovering in the Butterfly Idea Leuconoe.” There was a tie for Second Place between: Trevor Branc, BYU, for his paper “Reduced Order Modeling of Simulations of Transonic Flow Over an Airfoil”; and Mark Fernelius, BYU, for his paper “Thermocouple Recovery Factor for Temperature Measurements in Turbomachinery Test Facilities.”

  • Undergraduate Division: First Place: Stephen Carlson, BYU, for his paper “A VTOL Tricopter/ Flying-Wing Hybrid UAV.” Second Place: Braden Hancock, BYU, for his paper “Direct Generation of a Smart Pareto Set.” There was a tie for Third Place between: Deepak Ataym, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, Calif., for his paper “Photogrammetric Measurements for Rigid Body Movements in Low Speed Wind Tunnel Testing”; and Gaines Gibson, Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, Ariz., for his paper “Design and Fabrication of a Small Scale Aerospike Nozzle.”

  • Team Division: First Place: Aditya Vaidyanathan, David Kingman and Theresa Kurth, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., for their paper: “When do Endplates Work?” Second Place: Brian Franz, Daniel Murphe and Robert Schultz, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., for their paper: “Investigation of Paraffin Fuels and Additives in Hybrid Rocket Motors.” Third Place: Gaines Gibson, Jesse Banks and Donovan Stallings, ASU, for their paper “Crawford Strandburner Development.”

  • Community Outreach Division: First Place: Ruby Gomez and Deyzi Ixtabalan, ASU, for their “ASU/NASA Space Grant Outreach” program; Second Place: Gary Ellingson, BYU, for his project “Engineering and Technology Student Council K–12 Outreach Program.”

Other schools represented in the contest were: California State University, Long Beach, Calif.; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Ariz.; the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.; Tallinn University of Technology, Tallinn, Estonia; and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Please visit AIAA Foundation Student Paper Conferences for more information.

The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through the university level: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers, and professionals, please visit

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