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.
Ahsan 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.
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.
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!
In 2013, Baker Hughes teamed up with the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma to start a partnership with its students and Baker Hughes known as the 21st Century Co-op. The BHI 21st Century Co-op is a five year accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree program in mechanical engineering or petroleum engineering. In addition to the required courses for both degrees, the BHI 21st Century Co-op curriculum includes customized courses offered by faculty and BHI engineers during summer internships, a senior capstone course, graduate cross-disciplinary courses and graduate theses all relevant to Baker Hughes and its initiatives.
Through the BHI 21st Century Co-op, sophomores studying mechanical and/or petroleum engineering are invited to apply for the program. Students must submit an application including a resume, transcripts and an essay. Baker Hughes personnel interview a short list of candidates, and in consultation with the OU mentors, invite sophomores to become BHI Scholars. Baker Hughes and the OU mentors seek students who want to further their education with a master’s degree and those who are very career-driven with high professional goals.
“Integrity, teamwork, performance, learning and courage are the core values of Baker Hughes. These traits are what it takes to be a BHI Scholar,” said Jerry Varughese, mechanical engineering junior and BHI Scholar. “Our team seeks individuals who are willing to go above and beyond expectations. Our team looks for individuals who are willing to work hard but also always ready to learn.”
The aim of the program over the next three years is to enable BHI Scholars to work as a team on different aspects of a challenge problem identified by the BHI mentor. This year 11 BHI Scholars worked on the challenge problem. The mechanical engineering BHI Scholars are Wiley Abbott, Miles Burnett, Eric Douglas, Brandon McCabe, Chris Sanders and Jerry Varughese. The petroleum engineering BHI Scholars are Bryan Bodie, Pamela Duarte, Dallas Milligan, Dana Saeed and Alex Smith.
“The mix of petroleum and mechanical engineers brings a unique dynamic that allows us to constantly keep learning different perspectives,” said Eric Douglas, mechanical engineering senior and BHI Scholar. “The best part of this experience is the ability to work as a team.”
Something different with this program is its focus on interdisciplinary and collaborative learning. “Taking both petroleum and mechanical engineering classes is beneficial to creating a diverse educational background that will brand the BHI Scholars as a more valuable asset in the workplace, as well as well-rounded engineers,” said Dallas Milligan, petroleum engineering sophomore and BHI Scholar. “Having a perspective from both disciplines gives the BHI Scholars a chance to see problems from a different view, which can make all the difference in creating a unique solution.”
On April 26, 2015, the Baker Hughes Scholars presented their solutions to the challenge problem to BHI mentor and engineer Larry Watkins. The challenge presented to the BHI Scholars focused on an overview of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, primarily shale plays and to review and identify the go forward challenges facing development of shale.
On April 27, 2015, Rustom Mody, Vice President/Chief Engineer for Baker Hughes Enterprise Technology and the principal sponsor of the BHI 21st Century Co-op Program, presented a check for $160,000 in support of the program.
“The commitment from both Baker Hughes and the faculty sponsors to the program is encouraging. The faith they have in the scholars as they develop us into future contributors to the oil and gas industry definitely drives us to do our best,” said Alex Smith, junior in petroleum engineering and BHI Scholar. “Having this support system to challenge and force us out of our academic comfort zone has been my favorite part of this experience.”
Faculty sponsors of the BHI 21st Century Co-op are Farrokh Mistree, AME; Maysam Pournik, PGE; Chandra Rai, PGE; and Zahed Siddique, AME. For additional information, please contact Farrokh Mistree, email@example.com.
Dr. Diana Bairaktarova, Assistant Professor of Engineering Practice, was recently featured on Current Conversations with Robert Con Davis-Undiano. Dr. Bairaktarova discusses her research and focuses on design thinking and the human experience.
This one-on-one lively forum features people who are making a difference in the world—scientists, educators, humanists, writers, and artists. The goal is to focus on people who function as “bridge builders,” or people in the culture who are making important connections between areas of knowledge.Each week the show finds relevant connections between people and areas of knowledge that really matter and gives its viewers a close-up perspective on important developments changing the world around them.
“I hope people will watch the show and be delighted at the research that’s being done at the University of Oklahoma,” Davis-Undiano said. “It’s a chance to meet some accomplished and brilliant people.”
The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering honored outstanding students at the spring luncheon on Friday, April 24, 2015. Both aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering awarded sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Pictured from left to right: Corbin Graham, Senior in Aerospace Engineering; Kyle Smith, Sophomore in Mechanical Engineering; Austin Burrus, Junior in Mechanical Engineering; Tayera Ellis, Sophomore in Aerospace Engineering; Adam Dachowicz, Senior in Mechanical Engineering; Nathan Justus, Junior in Aerospace Engineering; Richard Vollmeier, Sophomore in Aerospace Engineering; Alexander Spens, Junior in Aerospace Engineering; and Ethan Murphy, Senior in Mechanical Engineering.
Congratulations to the 2015 AME Outstanding Students!
On Thursday, April 30, 2015 the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering hosted the annual Capstone Senior Design Poster Fair in Devon Energy Hall and the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility. A total of 28 senior teams participated in the poster fair. These student groups have been working on their capstone research throughout their senior year. Students presented their posters to a group of judges who later selected the outstanding teams in each category. The categories consisted of aerospace engineering, prototype design, studies, testing, interdisciplinary and vehicle design. Click here to see the project summaries.
2nd Place Aerospace Engineering: Lockheed Martin Supersonic Business Jet-Corbin Graham, Allison Parker, Kylie Richardson, Ashley Carpenter, Blake Riojas
3rd Place Aerospace Engineering: Northrop Grumman Scale Model of Reusable Spaceplane-Jared Repplinger, Andrew Hawkins, Evgeniy Ilichev, Resen Praytor, Kegan Duplechin
Outstanding Prototype Design: Trek Bicycle Corporation Pedal-Centered Sealed Gearbox System-William Cook, Morgan Andersen, Allicyn Berka, Clayton Stich
Outstanding Interdisciplinary: Baker Hughes Production Decline in Shale Wells-Eric Douglas and Bryan Bodie
Outstanding Vehicle Design: Sooner Off Road-Ray King and James Patrick Dunbar
Outstanding Testing: Schlumberger Design of an Experimental Setup to Measure High Temperature Shear Strength of Polymeric Materials-Robert Marcham, Brian Rockwell, Braden Hobaugh, John Shetley, Mohammed Abu Alrahi
Outstanding Studies: Cameron Valve Seat Analysis and Redesign-Conor McBride, Daniel McCaskill, Melissa Oestmann, Benjamin Schoen and Joshua Woodward
To view the full album from the poster fair, please click here.
Congratulations to all the outstanding groups and all the seniors on their success as undergraduates at OU and AME. We wish you the best in your future endeavors and your engineering careers!
The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Board of Advisors attended their annual spring meeting on Friday, April 24, 2015. The BOA had a busy day with a full agenda. They held their meeting in the Hitachi Conference Room in Felgar Hall. In addition, they attended the Senior Luncheon at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Dave Bert, BOA Chair, was the keynote speaker for the event. Thank you to all for making the day a success!