Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM awards John and Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship to three PhD candidates

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) has awarded the 2013 - 2014 John and Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship to Jeff Komives, Raghu Venkataraman, and Jacob Keller for passing the Doctoral Written Preliminary Examination (WPE).

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 the highest scores on the WPE.

"We are very excited to offer this opportunity to students who have excelled on the written preliminary exam," said Professor Perry Leo, AEM department head and director of graduate studies. "We hope and expect that these students will continue their outstanding performance throughout the PhD program and into their research careers."

To qualify for the AEM fellowship, applicants must demonstrate a strong aptitude in their field of study through their WPE scores and extracurricular activities. For the WPE, participants must pre-select two of five subjects; including fluid mechanics, continuum mechanics, or dynamics. It should also be noted that two of the three students granted the Copper Fellowship have attended AEM's graduate program.

Jeffrey Komives

Jeffrey Komives is an active duty Major in the United States Air Force assigned to the University of Minnesota as a graduate student through the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). He is a part of the AFIT Faculty Pipeline program where he studies hypersonics, fluid mechanics, and numerical methods. Jeffrey received his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology in 2009, and his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University in 2003.

"I'm very fortunate to be here at the University of Minnesota studying with some of the greatest scholars in our field," said Jeffrey. "My studies will build upon the strong tradition of collaboration between the Air Force and academia, and address the topic of boundary layer stability for hypersonic vehicles."

Raghu Venkataraman

Raghu Venkataraman received his Bachelor and Master of Technology degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in July, 2013. Since August, 2013, he has been pursuing his PhD in AEM at the University of Minnesota. His current research activities involve the design and analysis of safety critical aviation systems using analytical redundancy. His main research interests are in the areas of fault detection and isolation, reconfigurable control, and nonlinear control.

"I would like to thank the AEM faculty and the fellowship donors for awarding the John and Jane Dunning Copper Fellowship. I expect to use this fellowship during the course of my PhD at AEM," said Raghu. "I have absolutely loved the time I have spent in the AEM graduate program, so far. I think the program overall is well structured, yet flexible enough to allow graduate students to chart their own course through their PhD. I look forward to having fun doing research at AEM for the next few years."

Jacob Keller

Jacob Keller is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota studying AEM. He works with Professor Krishnan Mehesh, focusing on the problem of surfaces moving through air (such as wind turbines, helicopters, and propellers) and the noises that result. Jacob also worked on a project titled "Valveless Pulse Jet Design and Fabrication" where he designed and helped build a valveless pule jet for use on a remote controlled plane. He received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering in 2012 from the University of Minnesota, with minors in Astrophysics and Mathematics.

"I am very grateful to have received the fellowship as it was completely unexpected," said Jacob. "I am very optimistic and eager to be able to do this work, especially with Professor Mahesh."

Last Modified: 2014-05-27 at 15:47:49 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation