Aerospace department chair continues record paper award streak

Published: Jan 17, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Megan Burmester,, 334.844.2220

research aiaa awardJoseph Majdalani, chair of Auburn University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, and Andrew Fist, graduate research associate, took first place for their research paper in the international competition of the masters division at the 52nd American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sciences meeting, or SciTech 2014.

The paper, “Improved Mean Flow Solution for Solid Rocket Motors,” which was presented by Fist and authored by Majdalani introduced a groundbreaking framework for modeling the steady-state motion associated with internal burning cylindrical rocket motors. It was written based on research that Majdalani performed under a National Science Foundation grant.

Majdalani and his team have now competed and claimed top honors during the past four years, with seven papers which have won at regional events as well as three international AIAA conferences. 

“For seven papers to have won 10 awards in four consecutive years at this level of competition is truly a remarkable and tremendous achievement,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “This is a testament to the hard work, dedication and high quality research from Dr. Majdalani and his assistants, and clearly their efforts are paying off. I am proud his team is placing the department, and Auburn University, in the spotlight for the industry to take notice and recognize,” he said.

The competition, held in January, in National Harbor, Md., featured finalists from all regions of AIAA including the Northeast, Southeast, Central, South Central, Midwest, Western, and international regions.  To qualify, Fist and Majdalani had to first compete and earn first place in the masters division of the 64th AIAA southeastern regional student conference. With a total of 170 delegates from 16 universities across the Southeast, participation was at a record all-time high in Region II, which also happens to be the largest within AIAA. 

In addition to this award, Majdalani has also received the Zarem Educator Award, Zarem Paper Award (coauthor), and Special Award in scientific and academic productivity, all selected by the AIAA.