May 2, 2019
First in master’s for topological waveguides research
A&A graduate student Timothy Gormley placed first in the master’s category for his work in the LEMS Lab on topological waveguides. For his research, Gormley modeled an aluminum plate with screws placed in a repeated hexagonal pattern, creating a path for flexural waves to follow. His research involves testing the placement and properties of the screws to inform the incorporation of such wave paths into structures to absorb or redirect vibrations. A major application of this research would be to shield air passengers from turbulence by redirecting vibrations to stay in the main structure of the aircraft and away from the passenger cabin. Other possible applications include passenger vehicle crash safety and earthquake damage mitigation for buildings.
First in team for rotating detonation engine lab setup
A&A undergrads Andrew Jacob, Chinmay Upadhye, Andrew Milligan, and Kevin Chau won first place in the team category for their research on configuring a facility to enhance the testing of rotating detonation engines (RDEs). This work makes possible rapid swapping out of test conditions such as instrumentation, configuration, boundary conditions, sensors, and parts for continuous RDE testing. The team reports that the most important element in RDE research is the ability to control as many variables as possible. The laboratory setup they proposed and implemented led to a rapid installation of A&A’s new RDE, with the ability to change different variables with little downtime. This gives A&A’s RDE Lab an edge in testing and interpreting results.
Third in undergraduate for Z-pinch valve research
A&A undergrads Katrina Teo and Aqil Khairi won third place in the undergraduate category for their computational research and testing of valves for the Z-pinch plasma experiment. Stability of plasma is a key factor and challenge in a fusion reactor, and particularly for the Z-pinch plasma confinement scheme for a reactor. Reliable fuel injection through improved valve performance will produce higher plasma stability, producing longer fusion conditions for a higher energy yield.
For more information, view the results of the AIAA Region VI Conference.