On Friday, August 21, 2015 the Gallogly College of Engineering hosted the annual Meet & Greet for the incoming engineering students. The new AME students then attended a session with AME faculty and staff in attendance. There were over 100 students and parents in attendance. The students were ready and eager to begin their journey at AME. During the session there was great discussion about mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering as well as student teams and internships. It is safe to say the new engineering students are looking forward to starting this new adventure at OU and AME.

AME Class of 2019, welcome to OU and AME! Good luck on your first week of classes!

Dalton_WebChristopher Dalton, Ph.D., attended the University of Oklahoma where he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a concentration in thermal sciences in 2010. Dr. Dalton will teach Thermodynamics, Solid Mechanics and Freshman Engineering Experience at AME beginning fall 2015.

His research and background is in engineering education and K-12 STEM outreach.

Dr. Dalton is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

While Dr. Dalton was a Professor of Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he received the College of Engineering Teacher of the Year Award in 2013 and the Outstanding Advising Award in both 2013 and 2014.

As a three time graduate of OU AME, receiving his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, Dr. Dalton is no stranger to our school, “As an alumnus, I know the quality of education, facilities, faculty and students at OU,” said Dr. Dalton. “I am excited to return to the OU AME family.”



Thomas Hays, Ph.D., attended Oklahoma State University where he received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering in the summer of 2015. Dr. Hays will teach Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Fluid Mechanics at AME beginning fall 2015.

Dr. Hays’ research interests include small unmanned aerial vehicle propulsion, unmanned systems for weather research and forecasting, and practical unmanned aircraft systems design, fabrication and optimization.

He is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Engineering Honor Society, Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

Dr. Hays has big plans as he begins at AME, “I am eager to begin working with students to build their understanding of aircraft design and optimization while also creating opportunities for hands-on learning through flight testing student aircraft,” said Dr. Hays. “Composite fabrication, 3D printing and computer numerical control machining will be foundational skills required to complete student’s theoretical and practical education in aircraft design.” perkchair

LAfflitto_WebAndrea L’Afflitto, Ph.D., received his doctorate degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2015. Dr. L’Afflitto will teach Flight Controls beginning in the fall of 2015 and Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Control in the spring of 2016.

Dr. L’Afflitto’s research interests include state- and output-feedback optimal control theory, with applications ranging from coordination of unmanned aerial vehicle formations to robotics.

He is a member of the Technical Committee on Aerospace Control for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and is also a former Region One Deputy Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Young Professional Committee.

Dr. L’Afflitto is eager to begin his time at AME, “I look forward to interacting daily with the curious young minds of OU students,” said Dr. L’Afflitto. “I will include graduate and undergraduate students in my research while transmitting my passion for engineering and mathematics to the next generation.”

Congratulations to the mechanical engineering capstone team Pedal Centered Sealed Gearbox System. The student team members were the Grand Prize winner of the Designing for the Future Student Competition sponsored by Design Engineering Division of American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The team was selected as one of the four finalists to attend and present their project at the 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC 2015) and shared the Grand Prize jointly with a capstone team from Yale University.

Trek Team Blog Photo

The members of the capstone team from OU AME are Morgan Andersen, Allicyn Berka, William Cook, Clayton Stich and faculty advisor Dr. Harold Stalford. The project was sponsored by Trek Bicycle.

Trek Group 14 Poster Final Draft

Designing for the Future is an ASME undergraduate competition that allows students to utilize their capstone design experience. This competition is an undergraduate design competition funded by Design Engineering Division. The purpose of this competition is to recognize that our undergraduate students are the future of the engineering profession while highlighting the importance of working together in our diverse world community and the appropriate stewardship of our resources as technology continues to move forward. The competition encourages undergraduates in design activities to improve education in the art and the science of mechanical engineering design for students. While also providing an incentive to continue in design and become the researchers, educators and professional design practitioners of the future.

Congratulations again to the AME capstone team for their great success! It is such an honor to be named Grand Prize winners of the competition, and we are all very proud of you!

The Gallogly College of Engineering and the Multicultural Engineering Program recently hosted the AT&T Summer Bridge Program. The program is a four-week residential, on-campus program for incoming freshmen at the University of Oklahoma who plan to major in an engineering discipline.

The program is designed to introduce the students to the rigorous engineering coursework through course credit, team building exercises and seminars. Students complete a math and a chemistry course during the four-week program. They also work in teams to create a Rube Goldberg Machine. This allows students to begin building relationships with their peers, faculty and staff.


From the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, 17 incoming freshmen participated in the AT&T Summer Bridge Program. Director M. Cengiz Altan and Mechanical Engineering Chair Wilson Merchán-Merchán spent time with the AME students during a luncheon at Hideaway Pizza on Campus Corner. At the luncheon, students learned some basic information about the coursework at AME and were introduced to the student teams.


On July 31, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin spoke at the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility (REPF) about the importance of STEM programs in today’s education and in the industry. She also spoke about the impact of the AT&T Summer Bridge Program for our students. AT&T Oklahoma President Steve Hahn also spoke on behalf of AT&T and the program.

To conclude the four-week program, students finished coursework testing and also tested their Rube Goldberg Machines in REPF as family, friends, faculty and staff watched from the mezzanine.


Congratulations to the incoming students on the completion of the AT&T Summer Bridge Program. Good luck as you begin your journey as an engineering Sooner!

The senior capstone team Trek Bicycle Corporation Pedal-Centered Sealed Gearbox System was recently selected as one of four student team finalists across the nation for the Designing for the Future Competition at the ASME 2015 International Design and Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE). The team consists of Morgan Andersen, Allicyn Berka, William Cook, Clayton Stich and faculty advisor Harold Stalford, Ph.D.

Trek Team Blog Photo

In August, the team will travel to Boston, Massachusetts for the conference where they will present their capstone project on Monday, August 3, 2015. One of the four finalists will be selected as the grand prize winner with an award of $1,000.

During the 2015 AME Capstone Poster Design Fair, the team was awarded first place in the Phillips 66 Presentation Award and first place for the Outstanding Prototype Design.

Congratulations to the Trek Bicycle Team on being selected as finalists. AME would like to wish you the best of luck in the competition!

Even in the summer, our faculty and students continue to work hard on their latest research. Check out this clip from KWTV 9 about the latest robot research to help babies with cerebral palsy. Members of the team include Dr. David Miller, AME Professor; Andy Fagg, CS Associate Professor; Lei Ding, ECE Assistant Professor; Thubi Kolobe, OUHSC Professor; and AME students, Mustafa Ghazi and Michael Nash.

Choudhuri2Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., was recently awarded a $5 million grant from NASA to develop the next generation of methane-based rocket engines. These said rocket engines will be used for in-space propulsion, ascent and descent engines for Mars and lunar landers. The advancement of the methane rocket engines is identified as a critically enabling technology in the NASA Space Technology Roadmap.

Choudhuri is a graduate of the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He received degrees in mechanical engineering graduating in 1997 with his M.S. and 2000 with his Ph.D. working under mentorship of AME Professor S.R. Gollahalli, Ph.D. Choudhuri began working at The University of Texas at El Paso in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2001 where he is the chair and professor of the department and Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh Murchison Chair II in Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR).

“Among nearly 100 graduate students I have mentored, Ahsan certainly ranks very high,” said Gollahalli. “His motivation, focus, energy level and drive to succeed were unparalleled.”

With Choudhuri’s primary research efforts focused on propulsion technologies for next generation space missions and energy technologies for a low carbon future, Choudhuri has a broad range of federal and industry funded projects. Most of his research is conducted in the cSETR including the latest project funded by NASA for the development of methane-based rocket engines.

When Choudhuri first began working at UTEP, there was not a space engineering based program nor was there such research being conducted. Under his direction, the cSETR is now one of the top research groups in the nation focused on space exploration and technology. The cSETR has formed partnerships with organizations such as NASA Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and Glenn Research Center, just to name a few.

“Over the last five years, UTEP rocket propulsion research infrastructure has grown exponentially,” Choudhuri said. “This grant attests to the national preeminence of cSETR’s research and education programs. There is already a significant interest to utilize this region for commercial space exploration purposes, and we are placing ourselves as the strategic lead for propulsion research capabilities in the area.”

Each year the cSETR focuses on training over 60 undergraduate and graduate students in space and energy engineering education and research. Following graduation, many of the students begin their careers at NASA Johnson Space Center or other cSETR partners.

As an alumni, Choudhuri says his time at AME played a role in his successful career.

“OU played a big part in my career thus far. If I didn’t have a chance to work under Dr. Gollahalli’s mentorship, none of this would have been possible,” Choudhuri said. “I received a high quality education at AME as well as high quality research training working in Dr. Gollahalli’s Combustion and Flame Dynamics Lab.”

As for Choudhuri’s future goals, he hopes to continue his work and research in the cSETR by making changes for future generations in the country to continue advancements in space technology while growing diversity in the workforce.

Lastly, Choudhuri leaves some advice for our current undergraduate and graduate students beginning their careers.

“You can go where you want to go, as long as you aspire to be there,” Choudhuri said. “Aspirations combined with hard work and commitment will get you there.”

During the week of June 14, 2015, several AME students presented papers at the annual conference for American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in Seattle, Washington. The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education. It is committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such as deans, faculty members and industry and government representatives.

ASEE AME Attendees

Pictured from left to right: Madhumitha Ramachandran, M.S. student in industrial and systems engineering; Austin Burrus, senior in mechanical engineering; Dr. Diana Bairaktarova, College of Engineering Assistant Professor; Othman Bawareth, senior in mechanical engineering; and Nooshin Nassr, Ph.D. student in general engineering.

On Monday, June 15th, Ramachandran and Bawareth presented their paper, “Differences in Ethical Decision-Making between Experts and Novices,” in the Engineering Ethics Division. Bairaktarova said they did an excellent job, and she is so proud of them.

Austin Burrus will present today, June 16th. His paper is titled, “The Effect of Multilevel Examples,” which is in the Mechanical Engineering Division and the Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer Session.

Nassr will be also present her paper today with Bairaktarova titled, “Special Skills Development in Engineering Students: Identifying Instructional Tools to Incorporate into Existing Curricula,” in the First-Year Program Divisions, Hands-on Projects and Spatial Skills.

Click here for more information about the ASEE Conference.

As the end of the school year came to a close, the AME Graduate Student Community ended it with a bang. They hosted several events at the end of the semester to boost morale during an overwhelmingly busy time of year with finals, project deadlines, approaching internships and graduation.

They held an afternoon of relaxation and yoga techniques led by Amber Kapoor followed by lunch and thanking those graduate students who hosted a seminar during the spring 2015 semester.


Graduate students who hosted a seminar include Mohammad Imran, Mahyar Pourghasemi, Amber Kapoor, Lucas Balmer, Mortaza Saeidi, Maya Pishvar, Mani Razi (not pictured) and Anna Masters (not pictured).

GSC also held a picnic at Reaves Park to enjoy food, treats, time together and getting to know one another’s family and friends.



Lastly, GSC took a trip to RedPin Bowling Lounge in Oklahoma City for a weekend outing and some friendly games of bowling.


AME’s GSC had a very active year with many new and successful events. We look forward to seeing what next year will bring the group!

Recently several Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering graduate students received scholarships at AME’s senior luncheon.

Graduate Student Scholarships

Arun Balakrishnan received the Thomas Milam, Sr. Scholarship. Arun is a Ph.D. Candidate from India studying aerospace engineering. His research interests and objectives include biofuel combustion, characterization of global and in-flame properties of pre-vaporized and partially premixed laminar flames, investigation of NOx formation and mechanisms at various flame conditions.

Bipul Barua received the Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship. Bipul is a Ph.D. Candidate from Bangladesh studying mechanical engineering. His research interests and objectives include electrospinning, polymer nanofiber, carbon nano-fiber/tubes, composites, polymer foam, metal oxide and experiential learning.

Jelena Milisavljevic received the Conoco Phillips Scholarship. Jelena is a graduate student from Serbia pursing her master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Her research interests and objectives include complex systems, disorganized and organized complexity and robust and resilient multistage manufacturing (RRMM).

Oluwaseyi Ogunsola received the Jim and Bee Close and John E. Francis Scholarship. Oulwaseyi is a Ph.D. Candidate from Nigeria studying mechanical engineering. His research interests and objectives include development and validation of thermal models for HVAC systems control and optimization.

Congratulations from all of us at AME! Keep up the good work!

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