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Mon, 08/22/2016 | Washington UAS

UAS Trends in Agriculture

Dr. Chris Lum from the University of Washington William E. Boeing department of Aeronautics & Astronautics will be joining a panel with Dr. Lav R. Khot from Washington State University at 2016 UAS Agricultural and Academic Conference to discuss the latest UAS trends in agriculture. The panel will explore various ways UAS technology is being used currently and explore future opportunities for technology adoption and employment in the agriculture industry. This conference is hosted by the Washington State Unmanned Aviation Technology Coalition in Sunnyside WA on Thursday September 15, 2016. Agenda and registration are posted online.

Tue, 08/02/2016 | GeekWire

$2.2M Contract Awarded to Tethers Unlimited

Congratulations to A&A alumnus Rob Hoyt (PhD ‘94), co-founder, CEO and chief scientist of Tethers Unlimited, on receiving a $2.2M contract in a public-private partnership with NASA and Millennium Space Systems to deliver miniaturized water-fueled HYDROS™ thrusters for CubeSats and other small satellite missions.

Tethers Unlimited Inc Facebook

Mon, 07/11/2016

Additive MFG for Aerospace

The inaugural Additive Manufacturing (AM) for Aerospace course was completed in spring quarter 2016 as part of the evening Masters of Aerospace Engineering (MAE) program. Additive manufacturing - which includes "3D printing" - is a manufacturing process that uses computer models to create 3D objects by building up layer upon layer of material. This approach can produce complex structures and material properties previously unattainable by traditional manufacturing methods.

This year, the Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace class provided an overview of design, manufacturing, inspection, qualification, and certification considerations that one must consider in when selecting from a broad spectrum of available AM methods. Each student was given the opportunity to design and print a 3D object, which provided first-hand view of the design and manufacturing process start-to-finish.

The class was taught by Dr. Robert Yancey, the Vice President for Additive Manufacturing at Altair Engineering and Affiliate Professor at UW, with assistance from A&A research engineers Fiona Spencer and Eliot George. This class was also supported by Dr. Royan D’Mello, a postdoctoral fellow working with A&A Professor and Chair Anthony Waas. Interest in the Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace course has exceeded expectations and the department is hoping to make it a regular offering in the MAE program.

Fri, 07/08/2016

PhD candidate Gustavo Fujiwara wins AIAA AVIATION 2016 Best Student Paper Award.

Congratulations to UW A&A doctoral student Gustavo Eidji Camarinha Fujiwara for winning the AIAA AVIATION 2016 - Best Student Paper Award! AVIATION 2016 is a national conference organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. A panel of judges selected Gustavo for his outstanding paper and presentation in the Atmospheric and Space Environments session in Washington, DC the week of June 13-17, 2016. His paper titled "Computational and Experimental Ice Accretions of Large Swept Wings in the Icing Research Tunnel" contributes to improving aviation safety through better understanding of the field of Aerodynamics and Aircraft Icing. Advised by Dr. Michael Bragg, Dean of the UW College of Engineering and Professor of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Gustavo is researching multidisciplinary methods to improve aircraft design and make them more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. This research was funded by NASA and the FAA in collaboration with Boeing and ONERA.

Read his paper. | Visit the AIAA Conference Website.

Fri, 06/03/2016

A&A Sweeps AIAA Awards

Our students made an unprecedented clean sweep of the awards in both the Undergraduate and Masters’ categories at the 2016 AIAA Region VI Student Conference at Oregon State University in April. The winners are:


  • 1st:   Mia Lee – "Tunable Bistability of Origami-based Mechanical Metamaterials" (Advisor: Prof. Yang, Mentor: Hiromi Yasuda)
  • 2nd:  Zhisong Chen – "Leaf-out Origami with Multi-Configuration Stability" (Advisor: Prof. Yang, Mentor: Hiromi Yasuda
  • 3rd:   Lucas Heflin  – "Baffled Tube Ram Accelerator Structural Design" (Advisor: Prof.Knowlen)


  • 1st:   Jake Boening  – "Design and Experimental Investigation of a Continuously Rotating Detonation Engine Initiated by Azimuthally Sequential Sparking" (Advisors: Profs. Knowlen and Kurosaka)
  • 2nd:  Navid Daneshvaran  – "Transient Computational Fuid Dynamic Modeling of Baffled Tube Ram Accelerator in Eulerian Frame of Reference" (Advisor: Prof. Knowlen)
  • 3rd:   Wei-Siang Lay – "Design of a Rail Gun System for Mitigating Disruptions in Fusion Reactors" (Advisor: Dr. Raman)

Also presenting papers were: Kendall Dale in the Undergraduate Category, Richard Grist and Jeff Glusman in the Graduate Category, and Ryan Fowler in the Team Category. 

Congratulations to all of these outstanding students!

Fri, 06/03/2016

Undergrad Wins COE Dean’s Medal

Congratulations to Thao Nguyen for receiving the College of Engineering Dean’s Medal in recognition of her excellence in research. Thao, a Chemical Engineering student, works as an undergraduate research assistant on an NSF-sponsored project in A&A Professor Jim Hermanson’s Combustion Lab, where they are studying the explosive vaporization of superheated liquid droplets.  Read more.

Thu, 06/02/2016 | UW Today

Tiny probe could produce big improvements in batteries and fuel cells

A team led by University of Washington engineers has developed a new tool that could aid in the quest for better batteries and fuel cells. Although battery technology has come a long way since Alessandro Volta first stacked metal discs in a “voltaic pile” to generate electricity, major improvements are still needed to meet the energy challenges of the future, such as powering electric cars and storing renewable energy cheaply and efficiently. The key likely lies in the nanoscale.... Read more at UW Today.

Tue, 05/24/2016

2016 Distinguished Alumnus

Dr.  Leland Nicolai (BS ‘57), renowned educator, author, and aircraft designer, has been selected as the department’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Nicolai will be the keynote speaker at our graduation celebration on June 10, 2016, and will be honored there by our faculty, our students and their families and guests.

Thu, 05/05/2016

UW Greenest Lab - ZaP

Congratulations to Professor Uri Shumlak, whose ZaP Flow Z-Pinch project received the “UW Greenest Lab Award”. This is a particularly fitting award for a research project that seeks to develop a carbon-free effectively-limitless energy source - fusion energy - that has applications for space power and propulsion. The UW Green Laboratory Certification Program recognizes laboratories at UW that operate and behave sustainably within their laboratory space. The ZaP Flow Z-Pinch Lab received the highest ranking score which demonstrates excellence in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact at the UW. Learn more about what it takes to get the UW Green Laboratory Certification:

Wed, 04/06/2016

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Awardee

First year PhD student Anna Sheppard has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. With this, she joins a proud (and elite!) tradition in our department. Anna also helped represent UW A&A at the Museum of Flight -- Women Fly 2016! She was, not surprisingly, a great ambassador for our department and the STEM fields.

Wed, 04/06/2016

Fulbright awarded to Prof. Hermanson

Professor Jim Hermanson received a three-year Fulbright Award to work at the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen in Germany. Hermanson will work there with Dipl.-Eng. Christian Eigenbroad, head of Aerospace Combustion Engineering, on a study of combustion behavior of oxygen droplets under cryogenic conditions.

Thu, 02/11/2016 | Puget Sound Engineering Council

PSEC Young Engineer of the Year

Doctoral student Kimber Hinson was selected for the Puget Sound Engineering Council Young Engineer of the Year award for 2016. Kimber earned her BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from Wichita State University in 2009 and 2011, respectively.  She has been working at Boeing on dynamics and control projects since then. Kimber joined the UW A&A doctoral program in spring of 2014, working with Professor Kristi Morgansen's Non-Linear Dynamics and Control research group.

Wed, 02/10/2016 | PR Newswire | Penton

One of '20 Twenties' going to DC

Graduate student Pablo Trefftz Posada has received a 2016 Aviation Week '20 Twenties' Award. Pablo was one of 20 students selected nationally in recognition of his academic acumen, the value of his research and his contribution to the broader community. Pablo, who works with Professor Antonino Ferrante, will be honored at the Aviation Week annual Laureate Awards banquet on March 3rd in Washington, D.C., where he will be highlighted to the leaders of the world's top aerospace companies and agencies. He will also be featured in  the February 29th digital and print publication of Aviation Week & Space Technology.

Wed, 01/27/2016 | National Science Foundation

NSF CAREER Award - Yang

Congratulations to Professor JK Yang who has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The $500,000, five-year grant is  for his research project: Structure-borne Noise and Vibration Mitigation via Nonlinear Interactions in Phononic Structures. Read more.

Thu, 01/21/2016

Intel Competition Semi-Finalist

Dalton Waldock, a senior from Briarcliff Manor High School in New York was just selected as an Intel Science Talent Search semi-finalist. Dalton spent last summer working as an intern in Professor John Slough’s Plasma Dynamics Laboratory as part of a College Science Research class. Dalton worked with his mentor, A&A graduate student Jordan Neuhoff, to measure the energy of plasma emitted from a Pre-Ionizer, which destabilizes atoms to create plasma and free electrons. This experiment has real-world implications for space travel by potentially enabling a space probe to reach its destination efficiently and have enough fuel to return to Earth. Dalton was selected as an Intel semi-finalist based on the strength of his research and his paper, titled, “Spectroscopic Measurements Versus Langmuir Probe Analyses of RF Plasma.” 

Tue, 01/12/2016 | National Science Foundation

Prof. Narang Wins NSF CAREER Award

Congratulations to Professor Anshu Narang-Siddarth, who has just received a National Science Foundation CAREER award. The $500,000, five-year grant is for her project "CAREER: Breakthroughs in Dynamical Modeling and Control for Reduction of Catastrophic Aviation Accidents." Read more.

Tue, 01/12/2016

AIAA Sci-Tech Award Winner

Congratulations to doctoral student Max Spetzler, who was the overall winner of the 2016 AIAA SciTech Guidance, Navigation & Control Conference Graduate Student Paper Competition. He was selected from among all participants for his paper and presentation titled, "Local Linear Controllability and Observability Analysis of Nonlinear Systems with Continuation Methods." Max, who  works with Professor Anshu Narang-Siddarth, was recognized at the January Conference awards luncheon in San Diego, California. This is the second year in a row that Max, has been selected the overall winner of this competition!

Fri, 12/04/2015 | Voice of America

UAS Degrees offered at UW

Drones could be a key technology of the future, and job prospects for those who know how to design, build and control them look good. That's why colleges and universities around the USA are starting to offer degrees in unmanned aerial systems. One of them is the University of Washington in Seattle. Aeronautics research scientist Christopher Lum works with students in the Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory to explore how civilian drones can safely share the skies with manned aircraft. Read more...

Tue, 11/17/2015

SARP USEED-2015 has launched

The Society for Advanced Rocket Propulsion (SARP) is a student rocket engineering team at the University of Washington. Our mission is to design, build, test, and launch an advanced hybrid sounding rocket. We are looking to raise $15,000 to cover materials for building the rocket, testing, and travel expenses to launch this year’s rocket to 25,000 feet at the ESRA Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) this June. We are also partnering with Neighborhood House in West Seattle to help K-12 students build a scientific payload to be launched on our rocket. Help SARP Launch into the Future! Support this project today.

Thu, 10/15/2015

UW-Boeing Fly-by-Wire Controls Research Collaboration Announced

We are very pleased to announce the establishment of a new research collaboration between our department and the Boeing Company in the area of high-performance fly-by-wire flight control technology. Flight control involves a wide array of issues surrounding the design and implementation of control laws for aircraft longitudinal and lateral dynamics during distinct flight envelops. As Boeing moves towards the development of highly efficient airplanes, flight controls have been pushed towards more optimized control system architectures and designs. This push in turn has direct implications for the product development design cycle and comprehensive system-wide optimization and integration. Facilitated by advances in optimization-based techniques for control system design and the availability of analysis and synthesis approaches for nonlinear control, in this project, the UW research team has proposed the initiation of a long term relationship between the controls group at the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Flight Controls group at Boeing. The project is led by Professors Mehran Mesbahi and Kristi Morgansen at UW and Dr. Kioumars Najmabadi at Boeing.

Wed, 10/14/2015

AIAA Award goes to Dr. Waas

Professor and Chair Anthony Waas has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Award for 2016. This award is presented to an individual who has been responsible for an outstanding recent technical or scientific contribution in aerospace structures, structural dynamics, or materials. Professor Waas was recognized for his pioneering contributions to the development of the innovative, experimentally validated, computational methods for progressive damage analysis of polymer and hot ceramic composite materials and structures. He will be honored at the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition held January 4-8, 2016 in San Diego, California.

Sat, 08/22/2015

JCATI Collaboration in the Columbia Gorge

On August 20, 2015, a team of UW Engineering Students joined industry partners in the Columbia Gorge to begin work on a new Joint Center for Aerospace Technology & Innovation (JCATI) project focused on developing both hardware and software components necessary to perform seamless UAS operations and monitoring in GPS-denied environments. This system would help maintain aircraft tracking and situational awareness in the event of loss of GPS by an Unmanned Aircraft, allowing for safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace System. The developed set of tools and protocols would increase shared situation awareness between relevant aviation stakeholders such as UAS operators and air-traffic control centers.

This project was awarded by JCATI to UW PI Dr. Christopher Lum and UW Professor Emeritus Juris Vagners in collaboration with Hood Tech Corp, ANPC, Sagetech, and Insitu.

Tue, 08/18/2015

From Ram Accelerator to SpaceX Engineer

Isaac Statnekov’s passion for aerospace began early. His grandfather, who worked on the Saturn Rocket at McDonnell Douglas Corp., encouraged Isaac to pursue engineering. Isaac studied aerospace books as a child, and in high school, wrote a 40 page paper on the history of aeronautics in the twentieth century. He began a research project in his first quarter in A&A, working with Professor Carl Knowlen on the Ram Accelerator, and later on fabrication of a prototype shock wave reactor, work that continued through his senior year. Read more...

Tue, 08/11/2015 | UW Today

$4.8M ARPA-E Awarded to Shumlak

DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $30 million in funding for nine groundbreaking new projects aimed at developing prototype technologies to explore new pathways for fusion power, and one of the recipients is the team led by Uri Shumlak, Associate Chair for Research and Professor in Aeronautics & Astronautics. Prof. Uri Shumlak received $4.8 million for “Development of a Compact Fusion Device based on the Flow Z-Pinch".

Tue, 08/11/2015 | GeekWire

A&A Grad student finalist for the Next MacGyver

Nao Murakami, a PhD student working with Prof. Robert Winglee, reached the finals for selection of pilot scripts for the new show The Next MacGyver.

Over 2000 scripts were submitted, and Nao's was one of 12 to reach the finals. She attended the final competition in LA where five scripts were selected from the 12. You can read about Nao's vision for the show on UW News. The full story was published on Geekwire.