Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM Ph.D. Candidates Receive John & Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship

Michael Kroells smiling Gunjan Pahlani smiling Sagnik Paul smiling

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics is proud to award the 2017-2018 John & Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship to three outstanding Ph.D. candidates: Michael Kroells, Gunjan Pahlani, and Sagnik Paul.

John A. Copper graduated with an Aeronautical Engineering undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in 1957. After John's 35-year career at McDonnell Douglas, John and Jane wanted to recognize the University's contribution to preparing John for a successful career. The John and Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship was established to support students who have an outstanding academic record and demonstrate a strong aptitude in their study through their WPE scores and extracurricular activities.

Michael Kroells received his Bachelor’s degree with the University of Minnesota in 2017. He has continued with the Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics department in pursuing his Ph.D.

“I’ve had an amazing experience in the Aerospace department. I did my undergraduate here at Minnesota, with no intention of going to graduate school when I started. Both the faculty and classes piqued my interest in higher learning and research, and eventually lead to my decision to go to graduate school.”

Due to his familiarity with the facility and strength of research being performed in high speed flows using computation, he has stayed in Minnesota. He works with Professor Schwartzentruber, and his research focuses on comparing direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the continuum limit.

“It means a lot to me to be awarded this fellowship. I put a lot of time in preparing for my preliminary exam, and having that hard work pay off in the end is very satisfying. I’m also very honored that the department has chosen to recognize me based on my WPE performance.”

Gunjan Pahlani received her Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad in 2017. She then pursued her Ph.D. with the Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics department (University of Minnesota).

“So far my experience with the AEM department has been very nice. I have had a great learning experience in last one year. In addition to the well-structured courses, faculty here are very supportive. This has encouraged me to develop a deeper understanding of the subjects and work hard for it.”

She works with Professor James, and her research focuses on formulation of computational methods for simulations of fluid flows at the molecular level, specifically designed for studying objective structures. Objective structures are atomic/molecular configurations where all the constituent atoms/molecules see the same environment up to orthogonal transformation and translation. This is likely to lead to the development of novel nanomechanics simulation methodologies.

“This award was completely unexpected. I am very grateful for having been chosen for such a prestigious award and want to thank fellowship donor for the same. This appreciation has given me immense motivation to perform well in my future research too.”

Sagnik Paul received his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2017. He joined the Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics department (University of Minnesota) immediately afterwards to pursue his Ph.D.

“My overall experience with the AEM department has been pretty satisfactory, from the day I came in, people have helped me get a lot of stuff done, especially the staff in the office. The faculty and staff are quite approachable and that makes it easier for a shy person like me to work with.”

He works with Professor Longmire, and his research focuses on analyzing the transition of multiphase flow in pipes, specifically to study turbulent puffs which occur in transition flow.

“Being awarded this fellowship to me is a matter of esteem and of encouragement to work hard in my field of research, which I joined this university for, and also of hope to live up to expectations of my advisor and peers in my field.”

The Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics department applauds these candidates and wishes them luck in their research and future endeavors.


Last Modified: 2018-05-17 at 12:03:44 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation