AIAA Announces 2019 First-Place Student Conference Winners Written 6 May 2019


CONTACT: John Blacksten  

May 6, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the 2019 Regional Student Conference first-place winners. 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. The first-place winners in each category (listed below) are invited to attend and present their papers at the AIAA Foundation International Student Conference held in conjunction with the 2020 AIAA SciTech Forum in Orlando, Florida, 6–10 January.

Undergraduate Category Winners

  • Region I: Volumetric Origami-based Deployable Modular Space Structures with Tailorable Stiffness, James H. Lynch and Jordan R. Raney, University of Pennsylvania
  • Region II: Airfoil Lift Calculation Using Wind Tunnel Wall Pressures, Sreevishnu Oruganti and Shreyas Narsipur, North Carolina State University
  • Region III: Active Flow Control in a Compact High-Speed Inlet/Diffuser Model, Collin O’Neill, Ohio State University
  • Region IV: Thermodynamic Calculations of Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions (BLEVE), Joshua R. McElrath and Adonios N. Karpetis, Texas A&M University
  • Region V: Aerodynamic Analysis and Simulation of Degraded Flight Configurations of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, Reese Fairchild, Matthew Green, and Thomas R. Yechout, United States Air Force Academy
  • Region VI: Effects of Electric Field on Primary Electron Trajectories in Miniature Gridded Ion Thrusters, Juan-Pablo Almanza-Soto, University of California, Los Angeles

Masters Category Winners

  • Region I: Trim Analysis for an Electric Rotorcraft Utilizing a Moving Mass Control Scheme,Robert Brown, University of Maryland
  • Region II: Design and Testing of a Fault-tolerant Space Suit, J. Sublett, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Region III: Lagrangian Coherent Structures in Optimal Vortex Ring Formation, Braxton N. Harter and James W. Gregory, Ohio State University
  • Region IV: Spectral Proper Orthogonal Decomposition Analysis of Shock-Wave/Boundary-Layer Interactions, Stephanie M. Cottier and Christopher S. Combs, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Region V: Simulating a Vortex-Driven Cloud Feature on Uranus, Kevin Farmer, Saint Louis University
  • Region VI: Band Gap Optimization of Topological Waveguides, Tim Gormley, University of Washington

Team Category Winners

  • Region I: Design and Intergration of a High-Powered Model Rocket – I, Kyle F. Foster, Peter D. Dohn, Colin Y. Cooper, Amanda Dings, Jacob H. Fennick, Eve M. George, Nicholas J. Lapierre, and Ty F. Moquin, Worcester Polytechnic
  • Region II: Implementation and Verification of a Versatile GN&C and Flight Software Architecture for an Active Control Launch System, Kunal S. Gangolli, Athreya Gundamraj, Wyatt Hoppa, and Shrivathsav Seshan, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Region III: Specialized Terrestrial Rotorcraft Explorer, T. Hutchinson, N. Marquand, J. Springer, T. Swedes, S. Tandon, and J. Zyck, Purdue University
  • Region IV: N/A
  • Region V: Automatic Detection of Auroral Substorms from a CubeSat Platform Using Machine Learning, Valerie Lesser, Christopher Peercy, Vishranth Siva, and Colin Sullivan, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Region VI: Construction of Facility for Rotating Detonation Engine Research, Chinmay S. Upadhye, Andrew C. Jacob, Andrew J. Milligan, and Kevin Chau, University of Washington

In addition to the competition, the conferences provide 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 branch to organize the conference as well as provide prize money for the three categories supported by the AIAA Foundation.

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

(Pictured: Cleveland State University students and Region III Director Dan Jensen.)

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.


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