Thomas Places 2nd at AIAA Student Conference

Aerospace undergraduates, Caleb Thomas (pictured left) and Chris Keller, attended the 2018 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region II Student Conference in Mobile, Alabama the weekend of April 7th. Thomas won 2nd place in the Undergraduate Division (out of 26 entries) for his paper entitled, “Hess-Smith Panel Method Analysis of Arbitrary Bodies and Flow Field Visualization in MATLAB”.

Thomas explains, “The developed program allows students to see the relationships between velocity and pressure (via Bernoulli’s theorem) and other flow properties, such as stagnation points, that are present in an ideal flow. This visualization, in turn, helps reinforce concepts learned in undergraduate aerodynamics classes in a way that is usually only obtainable through more advanced CFD. The calculation method used is also a direct extension of the panel methods learned in our aerodynamics 1 class, where students can see interesting applications of the knowledge they learn in their intro classes.”

With more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.

The AIAA Student Conference is a technical paper competition for AIAA student members at the undergraduate and graduate levels from regional campuses. Students are invited to submit technical papers and give formal presentations, which are judged for technical content and clarity of communication. Winners are awarded cash prizes and may advance to the AIAA Foundation International Student Conference, typically held the following January at the AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (SciTech 2019). The 2019 SciTech is scheduled to be held in San Diego, CA.

In addition to the competition, the conference provides a venue for students to interactively share AIAA experiences, participate in social activities, and exchange ideas about current topics in aerospace engineering.