MAE graduate students win AIAA best paper awards

Posted: December 28, 2020

Two mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate students recently received best student paper awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Keegan Orr received the 2020 Walter Lempert Best Student Paper Award from the AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Technical Committee. Elijah Jans received the 2020 Best Student Paper Award from the AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Technical Committee.

Both Keegan and Elijah are pursuing their PhD at the Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics Laboratories (NETL) as National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) Fellows.

Keegan Orr

Orr’s award is named after Professor Walter Lempert, a former faculty member at the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at The Ohio State University. Lempert was scientist and engineer who had a well-known impact on the development of laser diagnostics of high-speed reacting flows and low-temperature plasmas. The AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology technical committee established their student paper competition in his honor, to recognize the students’ accomplishments in development of new optical diagnostics in fluid mechanics, plasma physics, and energy transfer.

I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Orr. “I frequently find Dr. Lempert’s name on papers, documents, and equipment in our lab. He was one of the founding members of our group, and his work regularly inspires me.”

Orr’s paper focused on the development and applications of a new laser diagnostic technique known as Electric Field Induced Second Harmonic (EFISH) generation. This technique is based on the effect that occurs when an electric field is applied to an otherwise isotropic medium, typically a gas or liquid. A dipole moment is induced in the medium. The induced dipole moment allows the medium to undergo the nonlinear optical process of second harmonic generation. Intense laser light produces coherent second harmonic signal proportional to the square of the applied electric field in the medium, facilitating high temporal and spatial resolution electric field measurements.

The paper also includes work done by Orr and Jans’ advisor, Dr. Igor Adamovich.

“It is incredibly gratifying that one of my students was selected for this prestigious award, since Professor Lempert, a longtime colleague and friend, was one of the founders of the NETL group,” said Adamovich. “You might say that the award came home. I hope that Walter is smiling somewhere”.

Elijah Jans

Jans’ received his best student paper award from the Plasmadynamics and Lasers Technical Committee. His research is based on using laser diagnostics for measurements of key parameters of electric discharge plasmas and hypersonic flows.  

Jans’ paper outlines the development and implementation of an ultra-sensitive laser absorption technique to measure the concentration of a metastable, or “dark”, excited state of nitrogen molecules controlling intense ultraviolet radiation in nonequilibrium hypersonic air flows, such as created behind strong shock waves. This is the first time when this technique was used in a supersonic wind tunnel.

“I was ecstatic to have received this award,” said Jans. “It also continues the tradition of graduate students winning this award from the NETLab group.”

Both Jans and Orr were excited to receive their AIAA best paper awards as recognition for the work done in collaboration with Professor Terry Miller from the Ohio State department of Chemistry and biochemistry, and Clean Combustion Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

I would like to give a big thanks to my advisor, Dr. Igor Adamovich for his support, trust, and guidance through this project,” said Orr. “I would also like to thank my colleagues Marien Simeni Simeni, Dirk Van Den Bekerom, and Elijah Jans for their contributions and guidance throughout my PhD program so far.”

“It was extremely rewarding to be recognized by the scientific community for the research being done here at Ohio State University,” said Jans.

“Keegan and Elijah are among the brightest and most focused students that I have ever worked with”, said Adamovich. “I hope their accomplishments will inspire other students to do groundbreaking research and receive well-deserved recognition”.











Category: Graduate