Aerospace engineering faculty and students show strong presence at SciTech 2015

Published: Jan 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Megan Burmester,, 334.844.2220

Majdalani SciTech 2015

Joseph Majdalani, department chair of aerospace engineering,
accepts the 
Faculty Advisor Award from James A. Keenan of
Aerospace Sciences Group and AIAA director-technical, at the
AIAA SciTech conference in Kissimmee, Florida.

Joseph Majdalani, department chair of aerospace engineering at Auburn University, has been honored with the Faculty Advisor Award at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech 2015 conference in Kissimmee, Florida, recently.

Majdalani was selected for the prestigious award for his loyalty, devotion and mentorship to students involved in the AIAA Southeast region.

“This award is truly an honor and is extra meaningful because it was given from industry peers and experts,” Majdalani said. “Working with students and helping them achieve success within AIAA and the aerospace community is especially rewarding and is what motivates me on a daily basis.”

In addition, Josef Fleischmann, a graduate student in aerospace engineering, was a finalist in the masters’ category as part of the international student competition for his paper titled “Complex Lamellar Helical Solution for Cyclonically Driven Hybrid Rocket Engines,” coauthored with Majdalani.  Last year, Fleischmann won first place in the masters’ research paper category at the 65th annual AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference, which encompasses eight southeastern states.

In addition, Sanny Omar, senior in aerospace engineering, was named a finalist in the undergraduate category of the international student competition for his paper titled “Satellite Formation Control using Differential Drag,” co-authored with Jean-Marie Wersinger, associate professor of physics. Omar also won first place, last year, in the undergraduate research paper portion of the AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference.

Auburn was the only university to be represented by both graduate and undergraduate finalists at SciTech, which rarely occurs.

SciTech had more than 3,000 participants and included Brian Thurow, W. Allen and Martha Reed associate professor of aerospace engineering; Majdalani, Auburn Alumni Engineering Council Endowed professor; and Roy Hartfield, Walt and Virginia Woltosz professor of aerospace engineering.

Aerospace engineering graduate students Jeffrey Bolan, Johnathan Bolton, Josef Fleischmann, Dominic Hildebrandt, Kyle Johnson, Jenna Klemkowsky, and Elise Munz were also in attendance. Additionally, several graduate students in aerospace engineering presented research papers at SciTech. They included:

·         Jeffrey Bolan- "Enhanced Imaging of Reacting Flows Using 3D Deconvolution and a Plenoptic Camera" with Kyle Johnson, graduate student in aerospace engineering,           and Thurow, serving as coauthors.

·         Tim Fahringer- "Comparing Volumetric Reconstruction Algorithms for Plenoptic-PIV," with Thurow as a coauthor.

·         Tim Ledlow- "Integration of Grid Fins for the Optimal Design of Missile Systems;” which was co-authored with John E. Burkhalter, professor emeritus; and Hartfield.

This is the fifth consecutive year Auburn’s Department of Aerospace Engineering attended the annual conference and displayed a strong showing.