AIAA Announces 2020 Regional Student Conference Winners Written 1 June 2020

Updated May 30, 2023* | Originally Published June 1, 2020 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the 2020 Regional Student Conference winners.

“AIAA gives students real-world experience to help start their aerospace careers,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “I’m impressed by the student research topics. These forward-looking students will be tackling the next challenges in our industry. Congratulations to the students!”

AIAA sponsors student conferences in each AIAA region for student members at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In typical years, students present their research in-person and are judged on technical content and clarity of communication by professional members from industry. This year students were judged solely on the merits of their papers because the in-person conferences were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first-place winners in each category (listed below) are invited to attend and present their papers at the AIAA International Student Conference held in conjunction with the 2021 AIAA SciTech Forum in Nashville, Tennessee, 11–15 January.

Region I

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Multi-vehicle Control and Autonomy for Swarming Quadrotors.” Charles Flanagan  and Norman Wereley, University of Maryland – College Park (College Park, MD).

2nd Place – “Computational Model of the Mean Flow and Turbulence in a Heated Supersonic Jet.” William Perez and Mayuresh Patil, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA).

3rd Place – “Venus Atmosphere and Regolith Earth Delivery System.” Nicholas Dietrich and Laura Garcia Insa, University at Buffalo – The State University of New York (Buffalo, NY).

Masters Category:

1st Place – “3-D Large Eddy Simulation of Dynamic Stall on a Dynamically Pitching Airfoil.” Harry Werner, Chunlei Liang*, and Douglas Bohl*, Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY).

2nd Place – “Acoustic Characterization of a Dual Stream Rectangular Supersonic Jet with Three-Sided Fluid Shield.” Nick Scupski, Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA).

Team Category:

1st Place – “Sharp-edge Handheld Identifier and Remover in Low-gravity Extravehicular Environments.” Natasha Dada, Kalpana Ganeshan, Matthew Groll, Sophia Kolak, Swati Ravi, Adrien Stein, and Di Wang, Columbia University (New York, NY).

2nd Place – “Experimental and Theoretical Analysis of Fin Design Impact on Rocket Performance.” Yogesh Baloda, Atharv Datye, and Sohail Zaidi, San Jose State University (San Jose, CA).

Region II

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Discrete Vortex Method for Modeling Effects of External Flow Disturbances on Airfoils.” Andrew Mistele and Arunvishnu Sureshbabu, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC).

2nd Place – “Simulation and Optimization of Aerogel Packaging Solutions for Cold-Chain Biologistics.” Elijah Gasmen, University of Memphis (Memphis, TN).

3rd Place – “Store separation trajectory clusters using machine learning.” William Gothard and Kenneth Granlund, North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC).

Masters Category:

1st Place – “Utilizing Topology Data to Facilitate Geometric Control of a Spacecraft During Lunar Landing.” Brennan McCann and Morad Nazari, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL).

2nd Place – “Active Subspace Investigation of Commercial Supersonic Design Space.” Nathan Crane and Dimitri Mavris, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA).

3rd Place – “ANSYS shape optimization for the UTC Flying Mocs Design/Build/Fly Nose Cone.” Aaron Crawford and Canon Debardelaben. University of Tennessee – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN).

Team Category:

1st Place – “Guidance, Navigation, and Control Subsystem Trade Study of AEGIS.” Ruthie Hill, Will Sherman, Darcey D'Amato, Maxwell Cobar, and Carlos Montalvo, University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL).

2nd Place – “Development of an Excavation and Transportation System for Sub-Lunar ISRU Applications.” Archit Srivastava and Lobna Mahmoud, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL).

3rd Place – “Development and Test of a 3500 N Liquid Rocket Engine and Feed System for Future Sounding Rocket Applications.” Patrick Palmetshofer, Adele Payman, Benjamin Zabback, Amalique Acuna, Kyle Lundberg, Mackinnon Poulson, Aliya Mahmud, Jacob Zhong, and Emily Ku, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA).

Freshman/Sophomore Open Topic Category*:
1st Place – “The Obstruction of Lunar Exploration: Properties and Mitigation of Lunar Dust.” Esha Shah, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).

2nd Place – “A Survey of the Moon’s Gravitational Field and its Effects on Lunar Satellites.” Madeline Stophel and Benjamin Jones, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).

3rd Place – “Sustained Space Missions—The Microbiome and Health of Passengers Aboard Spacecraft.” Tegla Jones and Mackenzie Wiles, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL).

*Additional category sponsored by Region II only.

Region III

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Genetic Optimization Algorithms for Supersonic Heat Addition.” Louis Villa, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN).

2nd Place – “Evolution of Particle Deposition in an Impinging Coolant Jet.” Noah Gula and Jeffrey P. Bons, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).

3rd Place – “Experimental Setup for Particle-laden Underexpanded Jet Measurements.” Ari Jain, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL).

Masters Category:

1st Place – “Effects of Fountain Flow Interaction on Dual Jet Impingement at Mixed Operating Conditions.” Spencer Stahl and Datta Gaitonde, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).

2nd Place – “Measurement of Integrated Unsteady Transonic Aerodynamic Forces.” David Pitts and Matthew McCrink, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).

3rd Place – “Atmospheric Breathing Ramjet for Martian Descent Missions.” Aaron Afriat and Sandeep Baskar, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN).
Team Category:

1st Place – “Design and Development of a Mining Robot for the NASA Lunabotics Competition.” Alexander Reid, Justin McElderry, Kyle Holland, Austin Fritsch, and Noah Kennedy, Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, WI).

2nd Place – “Modeling the Mechanical Characteristics of a Piston Pressurant System for Spacecraft Bipropellant Tanks.” Jordan Lombardo, Noah Gula, Shreyas Doejode, Tyler Schell, and John Horack, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH).

Region IV

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Insect In-Flight Kinematic Adjustments During Ethanol Exposure.” Ethan Lane and Imraan Faruque, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

2nd Place – “Experimental Verification of Turboelectric Power System Model for UAS.” Cole Replogle and Malorie Travis, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

3rd Place – “Development of an N-Camera Data Association Algorithm.” Timothy Runnels and Imraan Faruque, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

Masters Category:

1st Place – “Electrode Erosion of An Electrical Discharge Machining Drill Used for Aerospace Fastener Removal.” Connor McCain, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

2nd Place – “Evaluation of SolidWorks Flow Solver in Preliminary Supersonic Aerodynamic Design.” Kylar Moody, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

3rd Place – “The Impact of the Boeing 737-Max Crashes on the Design and Certification Process of the Aerospace Industries.” Muwanika Jdiobe and Kyle Hickman, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

Team Category:

1st Place – “Conceptual Design of a Propulsion System for an Air-Launch-to-Orbit Aircraft.” Samuel Cross, Abdalrahman Mansy, Matthew McCool, Dilan Randall, Timothy Runnels, Garrett Wilkins, and Kurt P. Rouser, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

2nd Place – “Cycle Design for a Proposed B-52 Bomber Turbofan Tutorial.” Austin Clark, Skylar Jacob, Abdalrahman Mansy, Matthew McCool, Cameron Newport, and Cole Replogle, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

3rd Place – “Real Turbofan Gas Engine Parametric Cycle Analysis Computer Program.” Jonathan Artalejo, Gustavo Ravello, Samuel Riecke, and Garrett Townsend, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK).

Region V

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Hypersonic Crossflow Investigation on the HIFiRE-5 Elliptic Cone.” Eric Hembling and John Wirth, U.S. Air Force Academy (Air Force Academy, CO).

2nd Place – “Methane Dependence on Temperature.” Mohamed Ferchiou and Mitchell Hageman, U.S. Air Force Academy (Air Force Academy, CO).

3rd Place – “Development and Application of a Dynamic Stability Evaluation Technique for the NASA Orion Program.” Samuel Spangler and Nathaniel Lavery, U.S. Air Force Academy (Air Force Academy, CO).

Masters Category:

1st Place – “Digital Data Processing Method for Shock Tube.” Frank Kalany and K.M. Isaac, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO).

Team Category:

1st Place – “Development of a Computational Propeller Model.” Henry Moore, Dakota Labine, Maxwell Alger-Meyer, Libby Hasse, Rebecca Rivera, Michael Flores, Nathaniel Hetzel, Nathan Castile, Shawna McGuire, and Mitchell Spencer, University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO).

2nd Place – “Engine Preliminary Design for a Stealthy Supercruising Tactical Tanker.” Ahsan Tariq, Mohamed Ferchiou, Jacob Funk, William Walk, Ryan McDermott, and Aaron Byerley, U.S. Air Force Academy (Air Force Academy, CO).

3rd Place – “Nano Stratospheric Aerosol Method (NanoSAM).” Aanshi Panchal, Sarah Reitz, Michael LaBarge, Conner McLeod, Joshua Horst, Jared Cantilina, Jacob Romero, Zoltan Sternovsky, Hui Min Tang, and Jessica Harrs, University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO).

Region VI

Undergraduate Category:

1st Place – “Bréguet Range Equation in Constraint Analysis Form for Power-Rated Aircraft.” Jeffrey Chen, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, AZ).

2nd Place – “Design and Manufacturing of a Low-cost, Carbon-fiber Composite University-Class Amateur Rocket.” Emilio Gizzi and Jessica Vinh, Portland State University (Portland, OR).

3rd Place – “Ram Accelerator Operations at the University of Washington and Starting Effects of an Obturator in a Ram Accelerator.” Kristina Dong and Adrian Lo, University of Washington (Seattle, WA).

Team Category:

1st Place – “MataMorph 2: A New Experimental UAV with Twist-morphing Wings and Camber-morphing Tail Stabilizers.” Adam Schlup, Tommy Maclennan, Cristobal Barajas, Bianca Talebian, Gregory Thatcher, Richard Flores, Justin Perez-Norwood, Christian Torres, Kebron Kibret, Edgar Guzman, and Peter Bishay, California State University – Northridge (Northridge, CA).

2nd Place – “Data-driven Modeling and Prediction of Mechanical Behavior of Origami-based Mechanical Metamaterials.” Jiacheng Chen, Po Wen Hsiao, Elaine Xiong, Silas Shon Hymn Shu, and Yasuhiro Miyazawa, University of Washington (Seattle, WA).

3rd Place – “Design and Construction of a Low-Voltage Bradbury-Nielsen Gate.” Kevin Sampson, Brandon Dillon, David Torre, and Lorenzo Laxamana, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA).

Media contact: Michele McDonald,, 703.264.7542

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