AIAA Announces 2019 Region VI Student Conference Winners Written 1 May 2019


CONTACT: John Blacksten  

May 1, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the 2019 Region VI Student Conference winners.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsors student conferences in each AIAA region for student members at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students present their research and are judged on technical content and clarity of communication by professional members from industry.

From 6 to 7 April, the 2019 Region VI Student Conference was hosted by the AIAA California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo Student Branch, and there were 67 attendees that represented 10 universities within Region VI. Students presented 15 research papers related to the field of aeronautics and astronautics over the two-day event.

In addition to the competition, the conference provides a venue for students to share AIAA experiences, participate in social activities, connect with industry professionals, and exchange ideas about current topics in aerospace engineering.

Since 2018, Lockheed Martin Corporation’s generous donation to the AIAA Foundation has supported the Regional Student Conferences and the International Student Conference. Funding was provided to the student conference in each region to organize the conference as well as provide prize money for the three categories supported by the AIAA Foundation.

Undergraduate Category

  • 1st place – Effects of Electric Field on Primary Electron Trajectories in Miniature Gridded Ion Thrusters, Juan-Pablo Almanza-Soto, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2nd place – Initial Results for Enthalpy Measurements in a High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel Combustion Jet, E.N. Acuna, Oregon State University
  • 3rd place – Computational and Experimental Study of Gas Injection Behavior of Fast Gas Puff Valves on the Fusion Z-pinch Experiment, Aqil Khairi and Katrina Teo, University of Washington

Masters Category

  • 1st place – Band Gap Optimization of Topological Waveguides, Tim Gormley, University of Washington
  • 2nd place – Low Thrust Trajectory Optimization of Small Satellites Utilizing Intermediate Thrust Arcs, Dylan N. Morrison-Fogel and Dilmurat N. Azimov, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • 3rd place – A Test Rig for Wing Flutter Suppression via Distributed Propulsion, Cole J. Anderson and Roberto Albertani, Oregon State University

Team Category

  • 1st place – Construction of Facility for Rotating Detonation Engine Research, Chinmay S. Upadhye, Andrew C. Jacob, Andrew J. Milligan, and Kevin Chau, University of Washington
  • 2nd place – Surface-Water-Air Propulsion System, Joshua Kalani A. Ancheta, Sierra L. Dean, Luke E. Stevens, and Darian J. Wood, University of Southern California
  • 2nd place – Matamorph 1: A New Experimental UAV with Span-Morphing Wing and Camber-Morphing Tail, Anthony P. Gonzalez; Jimmy A. Trejo, Michela J. Pacifici, Jennifer L. Raphael, Jefferson J.Y.H. Ing, Brice J. Ruder, Lakin D. Welch, Daniel T. Avila, Andrew S. Nishioka, Nicholas G. Vo, and Peter L. Bishay, California State University, Northridge
  • 3rd place – Modeling Human Diving, Matthew Giles, Philip Thoenen, and Elliott Kramer, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Please visit the AIAA Regional Student Conferences website ( to learn more about the conferences or contact Rachel Dowdy at or 703.264.7577.

About AIAA 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information,, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
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Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551