MAE students win multiple awards at AIAA Region III Regional Student Conference competition

Posted: April 24, 2020

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Multiple mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) students’ research papers were award winners at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region III Regional Student Conference competition in 2020.

Winners were still announced and awarded despite the conference itself being cancelled.

David Pitts, an MAE masters student, Noah Gula, a fourth-year in MAE, and a small part of the propellant tank research team made up of fourth-years in MAE Gula, Shreyas Doejode, Jordan Lombardo, and Tyler Schell all won second place for their papers submitted to the conference. Second place was awarded $300 from AIAA.

Pitts’ paper titled Measurement of Integrated Unsteady Transonic Aerodynamic Forces won second place in the masters category. His advisor was Dr. Matt McCrink, a research scientist at the Aerospace Research center.

Pitts was awarded $300 and was automatically entered into consideration for the AIAA Abe M. Zarem Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Gula’s paper Evolution of Particle Deposition in an Impinging Coolant Jet was selected second place in the individual undergraduate category. His work took place in the Turbine Aerothermodynamics Lab (TAL) at the Aerospace Research Center under Dr. Jeffery Bons.

In the project, Gula was responsible to compile the data, develop the software and analytics, and then actually perform the analysis.

“As an undergraduate research assistant in the TAL, this was part of my regular work responsibilities,” Gula said. “I knew that the student conference was coming up and I wanted to get some experience with technical paper writing and especially to receive feedback from professionals in the field.”

Gula’s research focused on the build of extremely small particles that enter jet engines and cause build ups that reduce aerodynamics and the cooling of the engine. According to Gula, these problems are becoming more apparent with the growing aviation industries in Africa and China.

The MAE Bipropellant Tanks team also won second place in the team undergraduate category for their paper Modeling the Mechanical Characteristics of a Piston Pressurant System for Spacecraft Bipropellant Tanks.

The paper expands on previous investigations of piston bipropellant tanks by the research team at Ohio State. The main focus was on modeling the mechanical behavior of the seals.

“It wasn’t clear to us whether AIAA would give any awards since the conference was cancelled, so it was a pleasant surprise that the team was still able to be recognized,” Gula, the project manager for the team, said. “I think I can speak for the team that we’re most grateful for the feedback we received – especially as students who are working on an original technology with a design that has never before been attempted.”