Raghu Venkataraman receives a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
Raghu Venkataraman, a Ph.D candidate in the AEM department, was awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year from the University of Minnesota. The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship gives the University’s most accomplished PhD candidates the opportunity to devote full-time effort to writing and finalizing their dissertations during the fellowship year. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chris Cramer says receipt of a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship is an indication of superior performance in the coursework and research that have led up to the student’s proposal for the completion of their thesis, as well as ability to describe the importance of that research to the selection committee.”
Raghu works with Professor Peter Seiler on increasing the safety of unmanned aircraft using algorithms. He says, “Drones, technically referred to as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), have various applications ranging from package delivery to precision agriculture. However, Drones are nowhere as safe as passenger aircraft. This is because they are susceptible to part failures. This may in turn lead to a drone crashing with potentially fatal consequences.”
He continues, “Our research focuses on developing and implementing intelligent algorithms that detect part failures in drones and take corrective actions to bring it safely to a landing spot. Such algorithms have the potential to make drones safer as they become commonplace sights in our skies over the next decade.”
Raghu also received a Master of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2015. He says, “My overall experience with the AEM graduate program has been outstanding. On the one hand, the program has been flexible in allowing me to structure my coursework to complement my research. On the other hand, the program has appropriately placed mile markers that have helped me to stay on track to graduation.”
Raghu credits much of the success of the department to the AEM faculty and staff. “The AEM faculty have provided the graduate program with a very solid research foundation, making it one of the top aerospace engineering programs in the United States. In addition, AEM faculty members foster and sustain collaborations with external organizations. Such collaborations not only lead to interesting research, but also provide pathways for students to pursue their post graduate careers.”
The department wishes Raghu the best of luck as he continues to pursue his PhD.