Aerospace engineering students compete at AIAA Region III Student Conference

Posted: May 16, 2023
Region 3 photo

An aerospace engineering capstone team and MAE student’s research papers were award winners at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region III Regional Student Conference competition at the University of Dayton between March 24-25, 2023.

The event was sponsored by the AIAA Foundation and Lockheed Martin on the national level and the United States Air Force and HX5 on the regional level. Region III includes Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Steven Murawski, a fourth-year in aerospace, won first place in the Undergraduate Category, and a team of fourth-year aerospace students including Ian Binder, Noah Hiler, Hunter Kesler, Eric Imobersteg, Ethan Jack, Ehsan Rahimi, Tony Kuenzli and Anthony Kamenny won first place in the Team Category.

First place winners received $500 from AIAA and are then invited to participate in the AIAA Foundation International Student Conference, held during the AIAA SciTech Forum each January. The 2024 AIAA SciTech Forum will be in Orlando, Florida.

Murawski’s paper titled “Flow Control Optimization using Genetic Algorithms with Reduced Order Modeling” won first place in the Undergraduate Category. His advisor was Datta Gaitonde, a endowed chair and director at the High-Fidelity Computational Multi-Physics Laboratory.

His research focuses on looking into how we can use a genetic algorithm to determine control settings for flow controllers. A genetic algorithm is a type of algorithm that optimizes a function very similar to the way Darwinism and natural evolution work (survival of the fittest). This algorithm was used to determine flow control parameters of a single impinging jet.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for the work I have done over the past year,” Murawski said. “When starting the project, it was never the goal to win the competition. I was just interested in the work and wanted to share it with others. But being recognized for the work is a great feeling. Hopefully I will be able to carry on or transfer the research I have done to others.”

The first-place team in the Teams Category was comprised of Ian Binder, Noah Hiler, Hunter Kesler, Eric Imobersteg, Ethan Jack, Ehsan Rahimi, Tony Kuenzli and Anthony Kamenny. Their paper was titled “Design of Thermoelectric Power Generation for Jet Engine Applications”. They were advised by Professor Randy Mathison and received help from Professor Joseph Heremans. Additionally, their project was sponsored by the Air Force’s Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program.

Their research aims to help alleviate the ever-increasing electrical demand on aircraft through the use of thermal power recovery systems, specifically, thermoelectric generators. They hope to do this by utilizing exhaust heat and converting it into reusable energy.

“It is a great honor to win this recognition,” Hiler said. “It made the value of our work clear as well as justify all of the hard work we have been putting into our project. It was rewarding to see other people appreciate this project we have built from the ground up just as we have appreciated it throughout the entire process.”