Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Graduate Students Receive Fellowships

Five first-year Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) graduate students received fellowships this year: Prakash Shrestha, Douglas Carter, Sahar Jalal, Joel Runnels, Andrew Vechart, and Kyle Winters.

Prakash Shrestha

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics graduate student Prakash Shrestha recently received the Ken & Rosemary Anderson Graduate Fellowship.

Shrestha is a first year PhD student in AEM for fall 2014. He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and his Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University, Indiana. Shrestha is currently interested in the areas of Computational Fluid Dynamics in turbulence, combustion, and hyper-sonic propulsion.

"I am thankful to the donors and the AEM department for their generosity to honor me with the prestigious Kenneth G. and Rosemary R. Anderson Fellowship," said Shrestha. "I am looking forward to use it to learn and enjoy more about the fields of my strong research interests and later contribute back to the community after I graduate from the U of M."

Douglas Carter

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics graduate student Douglas Carter recently received the Ken & Rosemary Anderson Graduate Fellowship.

"I have to say that I am very excited to be a part of the AEM department," said Carter. "The administrative staff has been helpful every step of the way and the faculty are not only renowned researchers in their respective fields, but they are also friendly and willing to assist and accommodate. I think the future of this department is very promising!"

Carter is an incoming graduate student for fall 2014. He received an undergraduate degree from University of New Hampshire where he conducted research under the guidance of Professor Joe Klewicki on the separation phenomena of steady laminar shear wake flows in a water channel. At the U of M, Carter is currently working with Dr. Filippo Coletti in designing an experiment to study the complex coupled phenomena between turbulence, buoyancy forcing, and heat transfer.

"I plan on using the fellowship I have received to help me accumulate the numerous relevant texts for turbulence, fluid mechanics, particle dynamics, and heat transfer, said Carter. "I'm hoping that with a solid fundamental understanding of the physics behind my studies I can become a more effective experimentalist."

Sahar Jalal

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics graduate student Sahar Jalal was awarded the Ken & Rosemary Anderson Graduate Fellowship.

Jalal is a first year PhD student for fall 2014, originally from Rabat, Morocco. Jalal finished her undergraduate degree at Grinnell College, Iowa, double majoring in Math and Physics. In her third year, Jalal did research on the dynamics of the Rattleback (a canoe-shaped body that, when spun on a smooth surface, rotates stably in one direction only; when spun in the reverse direction it oscillates violently - i.e., it "rattles" - and reverses its direction of spin).

"I discovered that I like Aerospace Engineering when I did research at the German Aerospace Center in Braunschweig, Germany," said Jalal. "At the U of M, I am a [Research Assistant] for Professor Filippo Coletti. We're trying to develop a better understanding of the fluids in lungs by 3D printing a lung model."

Joel Runnels

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics graduate student Joel Runnels was awarded the Ken & Rosemary Anderson Graduate Fellowship, as well as the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Graduate Fellowship.

Runnels is a first-year graduate student studying aerospace dynamics and control. Before coming to UMN, he studied mechanical engineering at New Mexico Tech.

"I plan to use the freedom that this fellowship provides to explore a variety of projects in the AEM department, and to work on background research for a PhD dissertation topic. I am thrilled to be involved with the AEM program at UMN," said Runnels. "The faculty in this department are clearly at the forefront of aerospace research, and the opportunity to learn from such a prestigious group of scholars is truly a privilege. I have found the AEM department to be a stimulating learning environment, and I look forward to continuing my research and education at UMN."

Andrew Vechart

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics graduate student Andrew Vechart was awarded the Lawrence E. Goodman Graduate Fellowship.

Vechart completed his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009. During his undergrad he worked in the Laboratory for Flow and Transport Studies in Porous Media with Professor Krishna Pillai investigating methods to calibrate test rigs used to measure permeability of porous materials.

Vechart went on to complete his Master's degree in Computation for Design and Optimization from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2011. He performed his thesis work in the Man Vehicle Lab of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department with Professor Larry Young. His research involved developing and validating a computational model to support the development of a liner for the Army Advanced Combat Helmet that would help reduce the risk of Traumatic Brain Injuries due to air blasts.

At the U of M, Vechart is currently exploring research ideas with Professor Ryan Elliott in the area of stability and dynamics.

"The fellowship is allowing me to explore research topics more freely that align with my interests in solid mechanics and computational methods," said Vechart. "I'm very excited to be a part of the AEM Department and have had a great experience with the faculty and fellow AEM graduate students in the first semester."

Kyle Winters

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) graduate student Kyle Winters was awarded the Ken & Rosemary Anderson Graduate Fellowship.

Winters completed his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at Boston University in 2009. From there, he continued on to an M.S. at Arizona State, studying fluid mechanics with Professor Ronald Adrian.

Currently, Winters has been with the University of Minnesota - studying fluid mechanics - for more than two years.

"With the help of many colleagues, I have completed the development of a brand new pipeline research facility that will be used to search for more efficient ways of transporting the fluids we rely on every day," said Winters. "Upon completion of my degree, I hope to continue to study fluid mechanics, finding new ways to use the laboratory setting to gain meaningful insight into the fluid phenomena that affect our lives."

Last Modified: 2015-02-06 at 12:33:04 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation