AIAA Announces 2021 Regional Student Conference Winners Written 3 May 2021

May 3, 2021 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is pleased to announce the winners of six of the 2021 Regional Student Conferences.

“In this untraditional year, the AIAA Regional Student Conferences continued to support students with practical experience and feedback from professionals in the aerospace field,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “We look forward to seeing what these students will do in the future!”

AIAA holds 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 AIAA members already working in industry. This year, conferences were held virtually, yet still hosted by student branches. Lockheed Martin was the generous sponsor of these conferences.

The first-place winners in each category (listed below) are invited to attend and present their papers at the AIAA International Student Conference, to be held in conjunction with the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum in San Diego, CA, 3–7 January 2022.

Region I Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Novel Structural Connector System for In-space Assembly of Truss Structures,” Ian Down, University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
  • 2nd Place – “Convolutional Neural Network Modeling of Secondary Instabilities of Stationary Crossflow Vortices,” Richard Qiu, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  • 3rd Place – “Constrained Control of a Simulated UAV Using a Learning-Based Explicit Reference Governor,” Michael Higgins and Laurent Burlion, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

Masters Category:

  • 1st Place – “Wake Structure Analysis of a Pitching Blunt Body Using Particle Image Velocimetry and Computational Fluid Dynamics,” Forrest Miller, Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA)
  • 2nd Place – “Employing CARS to determine flame temperature of ethylene/air counterflow diffusion flames,” Sean Alberts and Chloe Dedic, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • 3rd Place – “AI on the edge and in the air: Using deep learning to automate drones,” Bhavesh Narala, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “The Zero-G Drone,” Jonathan Snyder, Jenna Wendt, Alejandro Salvador-Garcia, Raneem Elsayed, Pamela Grullon, and Huan Min, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
  • 2nd Place – “Subglacial ocean Probe Exploration, Access, and Research (SPEAR),” Jack Gallagher, Nathaniel Ruppert, Olivia Garcia, Alexandra Nordmann, State University of New York–Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
  • 3rd Place – “Multi-Mode Hybrid Unmanned Delivery System: Combining Fixed-Wing and Multi-Rotor Aircraft,” Paul Wang, Muhammet Gungor, Camil Andruch, Nolan Angelia, Weihao Cheng, and Onur Bilgen, Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
Region II Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Reducing the Computational Cost of Bicycle Wheel CFD using BEM,” Drew Vigne and Michael Kinzel, University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
  • 2nd Place – “Comparison of 3D confocal Raman and high energy X-ray diffraction for the measurement of molten sand infiltration
  • 3rd Place – “Developing a Flapping Gear System for Butterfly-Inspired Motion,” Frederick Schulze and Chang-Kwon Kang, University of Alabama in Huntsville, (Huntsville, AL)

Masters Category:

  • 1st Place – “Low Gravity Natural Convection and Pool Boiling Predictions,” Ashley Milligan, University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
  • 2nd Place – “Prediction of Noise from Turbulent Boundary Layers with Suction,” Achyuth Rajendran and Steven Miller, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
  • 3rd Place – “Flight Test Point Optimization Program for a Self-Protection Application,” Oscar Klempay, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “Proposal for austere light attack aircraft – Project Aardvark,” Joseph Hayes, Andrew Heath, Brady Alexander, Spencer Grady, Jorge Velasco, Noah Jorgensen, Veronica Rodriguez, and Joshua Richardson, University of Alabama in Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)
  • 2nd Place – “Dynamics of a 9-DOF Heterogeneous Robotic Platform for Spacecraft Motion Emulation,” Celeste Newman, Hunter Quebedeaux, and Ryan Ketzner, University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
  • 3rd Place – “Kestrel Aeronautics: KA-Ranger,” Madison Smith, Jason Burke, John McDonough, Lindsey Dow, Connor Hawkins, Nathaniel Matthews, Thomas Key, and Wyatt Dritz, University of Alabama in Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)

Freshman/Sophomore Open Topic Category*:

  • 1st Place – “Effect of Varying Reynolds Number on the Aerodynamic Design of Lifting Surfaces,” Seshan Jayapregasham, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • 2nd Place – “Slotted, Natural-Laminar-Flow Airfoil: A Revolutionary Technology for Fuel Efficiency,” Sreya Kumpatla and Stephanie TerMaath, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN)
  • 3rd Place – “Trust the Process: An Investigation into Astrophotography,” Neil Adake, University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)

Regional Design Team Category*:

  • 1st Place – “Affordable Earth Return On-Demand Reentry Vehicle Design,” Sean Dungan, Kevin Fernandez Villanueva, and Mamoon Syed, Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL)
  • 2nd Place – “University of Memphis Rocket Testing Team,” Matt Sale, James Bay, Zhibo Liu, Emma Hill, and David Boers, University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)

Outstanding Student Branch Activity Category*:

  • 1st Place – “UGA Community Outreach Project – Space Race: A Voyage to the Moon Board Game,” submitted by Trevor Houghton on behalf of the AIAA University of Georgia Student Branch (Athens, GA)
  • 2nd Place – “Meet the Geeks,” submitted by Sarah Ketchersid on behalf of the AIAA Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Student Branch (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • 3rd Place – “NC State Student Branch of AIAA’s Outstanding Student Branch Activity,” submitted by Carissa Hardy on behalf of the AIAA North Carolina State University Student Branch (Raleigh, NC)

*Additional category sponsored by Region II only.

Region III Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Optimizing Trajectories for Unpowered Hypersonic Waveriders during Atmospheric Reentry,” Jonathan Richmond, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • 2nd Place – “Application of Counterrotating Blade Rows for the Purpose of Increasing Power Density of Axial-Flow Rocket Engine Pumps,” Forrest Lim, Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “Evaluation of Regenerative Cooling Channels for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion,” Benjamin Stefanko, William Mullin, Emmanuel Adu, Keaton Melendez, Aaron Bell, and Grant Davis, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
Region IV Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Aerodynamic Performance of a Low Aspect Ratio Active Rear Wing Package Designed for the OSU Formula SAE Team,” Tanner Price and Ryan Paul, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
  • 2nd Place – “Copper-Infused, 3D-Printed Filament: Manufacturing and Preliminary Impact Testing,” Nicolas Fabbri and Amber McClung, St Mary’s University of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
  • 3rd Place – “Probabilistic Structural Fatigue and Risk Analysis on the PIPER-PA-28 Fleet, A Case Study,” Manuel Carvajal and Maria Isabel Vallejo Ciro, Universidad de Antioquia (Medellin, Colombia) and St Mary’s University of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)

Masters Category:

  • 1st Place – “Preliminary Adaptation of Speech Source Localization Algorithm for Reduced Bandwidth of Interest in Tornadic Infrasound Signals,” Brandon White and Ujjval Patel, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
  • 2nd Place – “Development of High-Speed Data Acquisition Triggering Systems for Hypersonic Wind Tunnel Applications,” Valeria Delgado Elizondo and Elijah Lalonde, University of Texas, San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
  • 3rd Place – “Parametric Analysis of Surface Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Actuators,” Andrew Quinton, Jamey Jacob, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “Microplastics and Extremophiles in the Stratosphere,” James Simmons, Edgar Bering, Chloe Tovar, Desmond Etumnu, Phillip Pham, Hai Pham, Maxwell Omanga, and Harrison Azbell, University of Houston, Central Campus (Houston, TX)
  • 2nd Place – “A Mass Simulator for Development of Rocket-Assisted Take-Off Systems of Unmanned Aircraft,” Christopher Rathman, Seth Robbins, Sidney Francis, and Jacob Mobley, Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK)
  • 3rd Place – “Constructing a Lightweight, Balloon-borne Instrument to Measure Atmospheric Conductivity at Two Latitudes,” Alexandra Ulinski, Elizabeth Hernandez, Rachel Nathan, Andy Nguyencuu, and Adrian Rangel, University of Houston (Houston, TX)
Region V Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Effect of Varying Propeller Pitch Angle on Efficiency and Noise Production,” Luca Zeitvogel and Charles Wisniewski, United States Air Force Academy (CO)
  • 2nd Place – “Experimental Investigation of Shark Skin-Inspired Surface Treatments,” Emily Berexa and William Decker, United States Air Force Academy (CO)
  • 3rd Place – “Relationships Between Characteristic Detonation Length Scales,” Noah Pritchard and Mitchell Hageman, United States Air Force Academy (CO)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “Vibrissae Inspired Mechanical Obstacle Avoidance Sensor for the Venus Exploration Rover AREE,” Benjamin Alva, Raghav Bhagwat, Blake Hartwell, Emma Bernard, and Vinayak Rajesh, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
  • 2nd Place – “Functional LiDAR Analysis of Structural Health (FLASH),” Courtney Kelsey, Kunal Sinah, Jake Fuhrman Shray Chauhan, Ishaan Kochhar, Julian Lambert, Andrew Fu, Fiona McGann, Erik Stolz, and Ricky Carlson, University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO)
  • 3rd Place – “Passive Orbit Determination Based on Time Delay of Arrival,” Keith Poletti, Ryan Prince, Noah Francis, Colin Ruark, Sam Firth, Tyler Pirner, and E Forest Owen, University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO)
Region VI Winners

Undergraduate Category:

  • 1st Place – “Measuring Electron Temperature and Density of a Sheared-Flow Z-Pinch Plasma Exhaust Plume,” Michelle Graebner, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
  • 2nd Place – “An origami-based system for frequency bandgap tuning,” Gloria Yin, University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
  • 3rd Place – “Free Vibration of an Airplane Wing under Coupled Bending and Torsion: Approximation of the natural frequencies using uncoupled mode shapes for torsion and bending,” Kellen Andrew and Arnold Deffo, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Masters Category:

  • 1st Place – “Investigation of Hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene Droplets Impacting Ammonium Perchlorate and Polytetrafluoroethylene Surfaces,” Sahson Raissi and Joseph Kalman, California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
  • 2nd Place – “Comparison of Ammonium Perchlorate Pressed Pellets versus Single Crystal Wettability with Hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene,” Aaren Cortes and Joseph Kalman California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)
  • 2nd Place – Wind Tunnel Force Balance Calibration at the San Diego State University Low Speed Wind Tunnel,” Bradley Zelenka, Aldair Herrejon-Andrade, and Xiafeng Liu, San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)
  • 3rd Place – “Best Practices for STAR-CCM+ 2D Hypersonic Flow,” Nicholas Johnson and Eun Jung Chae, California State University, Long Beach (Long Beach, CA)

Team Category:

  • 1st Place – “Design of a Modular and Orientable Electrodynamic Shield for Lunar Dust Mitigation,” Luis Pabon Madrid, Malcom Tisdale, Isabella Dula, Polina Verkhovodova, Jules Penot, Leah Soldner, Kaila Coimbra, Tanmay Gupta, Rithvik Musuku, and Soon-Jo Chung, California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  • 2nd Place – “Design and analysis of MataMorph-3: An experimental fully morphing UAV with camber-morphing wings and tail stabilizers,” Luis Ferrusquilla, Peter Bishay, James Kok, Brian Espinosa, Andrew Heness, Antonio Buendia, Sevada, Hezarjaribi, Paul Lacson, Jonathan D Ortiz, Ruiki Basilio, and Daniel Olvera, California State University, Northridge (Northridge, CA)
  • 2nd Place – “A Novel Staged Warm Gas Thruster for CubeSats,” Michael Mastrangelo, Spencer Powers, Connor Powers, Kamyar Zarkoub, and Spencer Wing, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 3rd Place – “UAV Flight Disruption via Acoustic Focusing,” Miles Kay, Emma Roberson, Miranda Costigan, and Criss Edwards, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)

AIAA Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray, RebeccaG@AIAA.org, 804-397-5270.

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 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.