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UCF mechanical and aerospace engineering students are flying high after attending the AIAA Region II Student Conference, which allows graduate and undergraduate students to compete in oral and technical paper competitions. MAE claimed a total of three awards, including both first and second place in the Undergraduate category. The winners are:

Drew Vigne, B.S.ME | Advisor: Michael Kinzel | Paper: “Reducing the Computational Cost of Bicycle Wheel CFD Using BEM”

Vanessa D’Esposito, B.S.AE | Advisor: Seetha Raghavan | Paper: “Comparison of 3D Confocal Raman and High Energy X-Ray Diffraction for the Measurement of Molten Sand Infiltration”

As the first place winner, Vigne will receive $500 and the opportunity to attend and present his paper at the AIAA SciTech Forum, which will take place in January 2022. His paper will also be published in the SciTech Forum proceedings.

But MAE students didn’t just place in the Undergraduate category. They also took second place in the Teams category as well as a $300 prize. The winners are:

Celeste Newman, B.S.AE, Hunter Quebedeaux, B.S.ME, Ryan Ketzner, B.S.AE | Advisor: Tarek Elgohary | Paper: “Dynamics of a 9-DOF Heterogeneous Robotic Platform for Spacecraft Motion Emulation”

This year’s conference was held virtually via Microsoft Teams and hosted by the student branch at the University of Alabama. It was also the first time in five years that MAE students have participated in the event.

“In this untraditional year, the AIAA Regional Student Conferences continued to support students with practical experience and feedback from professionals in the aerospace field,” said Dan Dumbacher, the AIAA executive director, in a release. “We look forward to seeing what these students will do in the future!”

AIAA hosts six student conferences, one for each of its regions. Region II, which UCF competed in, encompasses the southeastern states including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

This isn’t the only AIAA student competition that MAE students have participated in this year. The department’s winning senior design team is competing in AIAA’s Design/Build/Fly Competition in which university students are tasked with designing and building an aircraft. The winner of the competition will be revealed this Friday.

By Marisa Ramiccio