Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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Back in Session

Welcome Week began the last week of August as students returned to campus.  The University’s Welcome Week is designed to acclimate new students to campus.  Within the department the week began with our new graduate student orientation and was concluded with the campus wide College Day focusing on incoming freshmen. 

College Day

College Day was held Thursday, August 28th and provides IT Freshmen a sample of what they have to look forward to upon joining an upper division program. This year students with an interest in AEM were offered two different opportunities.

In the first group, Yohannes Ketema, AEM instructor, and Haftom Dessalegn, AEM senior and AIAA representative offered freshmen the opportunity to experience flight mechanics first-hand.  After a ‘mini-lecture’ on flight mechanics students built gliders out of balsa wood.
Ketema comments, “(The students) seemed very interested in the activity and worked hard at building their planes….Most of all, I think they appreciated the hands-on nature of the activity.” In addition to the project, Ketema and Dessalegn took the opportunity to promote the department’s undergraduate student-run group, AIAA. “Overall, I think this day is a very good way of letting new students learn about their school and build connections with one another.”
The second group of students met with Prof. James Flaten, the AEM contract faculty member responsible for pioneering and instructing our first Freshmen Seminar.   
Flaten worked with his Welcome Week group to construct miniature radios and weather stations, equipped with temperature, pressure, and relative humidity sensors.  These were flown into the upper atmosphere on helium balloons and they transmitted their data to the ground by ham radio using Morse code.  One balloon also carried a GPS unit, to track its trajectory.  The smaller balloons ascended to about 30,000 feet whereas the larger balloon exceeded 80,000 feet before bursting.  The smaller payloads were not recovered but the GPS payload travelled about 120 miles due east, landing 30 miles beyond Eau Claire, near Withee, Wisconsin.

Fall 2008 Graduates

The fall 2008 graduate class is rich in diversity with both student body and the research for which they are passionate.  Many of our new students came with an interest in computational fluid dynamics as well as systems. Students join us from elite institutions all over the globe.  Internationally we have students from India Institute of Technology, Technical University of Istanbul, Canterbury University in New Zealand and our domestic students from hail from Cornell, MIT, University of Maryland -- College Park as well as a few of our own BAEM alumni.
One of the largest classes in years, we welcomed twenty-eight students, twenty-five of which the department supports through a combination of teaching or research assistantships and alumni sponsored fellowships.  For more information on fellowships, see our fellowships page.
The department concluded the welcome of these students on Friday September 5th with the annual Graduate Student Welcome Reception. Also used to kick off the AEM Departmental Research Colloquium series each year, this event offers new graduate students the chance to meet and become acquainted with existing AEM faculty and graduate students. 

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 13:57:16 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation