MAE Makes Strong Showing at AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference


On April 4-5th, a group of undergraduates and Dr. Shreyas Narsipur (from left to right above: Dr. Narsipur, Michael Barton, Sreevishnu Oruganti, Cole Williams, Paul Neil IV and Kevin Alexander) represented MAE and NC State at the 70th Annual AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest technical society dedication to the global aerospace profession. The Regional Student Paper Conferences hosted by AIAA empower students to advance their career and expand their skillset, primarily through writing technical papers and giving formal presentations. The conferences also provide students with excellent networking opportunities. This year’s conference was held in Cocoa Beach which is located adjacent to Cape Canaveral along Florida’s Space Coast. The conference’s unique location enabled students to get a behind-the-scenes tour of a local air museum’s restoration process. The tour highlighted the engineering that goes into making damaged historical aircraft air-worthy again.

Historically, NC State has had a strong showing at the conference. This year, the trend was continued as Sreevishnu Oruganti won the Stan Powell Prize for his presentation on “Airfoil Lift Measurement Using Wing Tunnel Wall Pressure.” The Stan Powell Prize is awarded to the best undergraduate research paper and presentation. The winner is awarded a cash prize of $500 and a trip to the upcoming AIAA SciTech Forum, a professional aerospace conference, where the paper will be presented and published as part of the conference proceedings. The research papers and presentations were judged by a panel of aerospace professionals based on technical content and clarity of communication.

Oruganti’s research, guided by Dr. Narsipur, deals with experimentally calculating lift in the NCSU subsonic wind tunnel using wind tunnel wall pressures. Unlike the conventional lift calculation methods, this method finds the pressure induced by an airfoil on the wind tunnel walls, using static pressure ports. From this method, any airfoil shape can be tested, and accurate results can be obtained, at a very low expense compared to other methods. Oruganti’s research involved validating this method in NC State’s wind tunnel and identifying new design parameters which influence accuracy of the Wall Pressure Measurement method.