AME Welcomes Five New Faculty Members

We are very happy to welcome five new faculty members to the AME family.

Iman Ghamarian (Materials)

 Dr. Ghamarian was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan before joining OU. He received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 2017, M.S. from the University of North Texas in 2012, and B.S. from the Sharif University of Technology in 2010, all in Materials Science and Engineering. His cross-disciplinary research activities have focused on understanding and engineering the forward and backward relationships between processing, microstructures, and mechanical properties in high-performance structural alloys. To explore these relationships, he integrates advanced characterization techniques with data analytics approaches and physical metallurgy principles. Dr. Ghamarian has more than 30 publications about developing structural alloys in peer-reviewed journals, including several papers in Acta Materialia and Physical Review Letters. He was one of two recipients of the college of engineering Master/Doctoral Fellowship award.

Erkan Kayacan (Unmanned Systems)


Dr. Kayacan will be joining us in Spring 2022 from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia where he is currently an Assistant Professor in Mechatronics. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.  Prior to UQ, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Delft University of Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests center around control theory, artificial intelligence, and real- time optimization, with a particular emphasis on foundational theory and the experimental realization of robotic and autonomous systems. Dr Kayacan is a recipient of the Best Systems Paper Award at Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) in 2018.

Hiroshi Ozawa (Hypersonics)

Dr. Hiroshi Ozawa comes to AME from Japan, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU). He received his Ph.D in 2010 in the Department of Aerospace Engineering from Nagoya University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Yoshiaki Nakamura. From 2010 to 2013, he was a Postdoctoral scholar under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Klaus Hannemann at DLR, head of Spacecraft Department, Göttingen. Since 2013, he has been a faculty member at TMU. His research interests lie in the experimental high-speed aerothermodynamics using high-speed wind tunnels with optical flow diagnostics.

Bin Xu (Propulsion)

Dr. Bin Xu joins us from the Department of Automotive Engineering, Clemson University, where he has been serving as a Research Assistant Professor since March 2020. Prior to that, Dr. Xu was a Research Scientist at the Stanford University. Dr. Xu received his B.S. degree from Hunan University China in 2013, Ph.D. from Clemson University in 2017, both in Automotive Engineering. Dr. Xu’s research focus on propulsion system modeling and control, particularly in the areas of physics-based and data-driven modeling, control, and fuel efficiency optimization. Over the past 4 years, Dr. Xu has published 31 peer-reviewed articles including 13 first-authored journal articles and his research have been cited 337 times in Google Scholar. Dr. Xu is the Guest Editor of SAE International Journal of Electrified Vehicles and a Review Editor of Frontiers in Energy Research. Additionally, Dr. Xu serves as the reviewer for 10+ journals in energy and transportation fields, such as Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Applied Energy, and IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Dong Zhang (Sustainable Energy)

Dr. Dong Zhang is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.  He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA, in 2020 and 2016, respectively, all in systems and control engineering. He also earned his B.S. degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, in 2015, in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He was also awarded a double B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, in 2015. His current research interests include dynamical system estimation and controls, optimization, machine learning, renewable energy systems, energy storage, and advanced Lithium-Ion battery management systems. Dr. Zhang is a recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Energy System Best Paper Award at 2020 American Control Conference (ACC) and 2020 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC), and the UC Berkeley College of Engineering Block Grant Fellowship.


We are very excited to welcome these new members of our team, and wish each of them success in the years ahead!


The Sooner Rover Team Finds Success at the University Rover Challenge

Founded in 2015, the Sooner Rover Team usually competes in the Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge each year. This includes the 2016 National Institute of Aerospace RASC-AL Robo-Ops competition in Houston, which they won!  This year however, the URC Finals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Luckily, with many teams anxious to test their capabilities and showcase their hard work, the URC staff developed a special event called the Virtual University Rover Challenge 2021. The challenge took place June 3-6 and allowed the competing teams to build the URC courses on their own campuses and to live stream their rover’s progress on the course. The live streaming also allowed for both the team competitions to be judged remotely and for fans across the globe to view the Challenge as it happened.

There were originally 88 teams competing in the URC, but only 55 submitted System Acceptance Review packages (SAR). Because of COVID, there was a lower number of teams than usual this year. The SAR is a video and paper submission that is scored as the first part of the competition. Only 36 teams were invited to finals and of those, only 13 from five countries were able to compete in the virtual finals. There were three missions in the Virtual University Rover Challenge; the Equipment Servicing Mission, the Autonomous Navigation Mission, and the Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Mission.

Unfortunately, the Sooner Rover Team ran into a few issues during the virtual challenge. The rover’s back left wheel motor seized up an hour before competition while the team was in a testing phase, so the wheel motor had to be left unpowered during the competition which made driving difficult. Also, the wiring was a little unreliable so the team had to take a few penalties to fix that mid-competition. But despite all this adversity, the team did a great job! The Sooner Rover Team received 9th place on both the Equipment Servicing and Extreme Retrieval and Delivery missions, and they tied for 4th place on the Autonomous Navigation Mission!

Congratulations to the Sooner Rover Team for their successful year and we wish them the best in the upcoming year!

You can watch the Sooner Rover Team’s System Acceptance Review (SAR) below:




Sooner Racing Team Has Top Ten at FSAE Nevada 2021!

The Sooner Racing Team (SRT) had a successful competition at Formula SAE Nevada, an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The concept behind FSAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote problem solving.

The competition took place from June 15th through to the 19th in blisteringly hot conditions at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At one point the temperature reached 117 degrees, and the surface of the track was recorded at around 140 degrees! There were 4 drivers representing the OU Sooner Racing Team, each doing 2 events. Tony Macaluso and Callen Koiner handled the autocross and endurance, while their teammates, Sierra Martinez and Isaac Fernald, handled acceleration and skid pad portions. There were 40 internal combustion teams registered for FSAE Nevada. Of those 40 teams, SRT finished 8th overall. In addition to their overall finish, they placed 2nd in both endurance and in fuel efficiency. With their 8th place finish, SRT finished in the top ten for the first time in more than a decade!

Congratulations, Sooner Racing Team! We are proud of your hard work and performance!

For more information on the Sooner Racing Team, visit their website, follow them on Twitter, or check out their Facebook page!

Crimson Skies

Crimson Skies is the University of Oklahoma’s DBF team that designs, fabricates, and tests a remote controlled aircraft for the AIAA Design, Build, Fly competition. The competition is an annual event hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in which teams from across the globe compete by designing an unmanned, electric, remotely controlled aircraft to demonstrate flight capabilities that best meet the specified mission profile. 

The missions are different every year, which gives the students the opportunity for a new perspective and a chance to innovate in their design. This year, they were tasked with designing a vehicle which was capable of delivering a large payload of sensors. The remote controlled vehicle had to be capable of deploying one of these sensors while in flight, activating an LED pattern on the sensor, recover the sensor back into the aircraft again, and finally performing a successful landing. The individual sensors weighed 0.14 pounds and the aircraft was capable of carrying 35 sensors in total. The team had an overall emphasis on design simplicity but also an understanding that success relied on preparation for the unexpected. This viewpoint resulted in a very robust aircraft made primarily of foam-board to help absorb impact energy rather than spreading it to vital components. This decision had the added benefit of the foam-board being easily repaired with simple tools and materials and low overall weight. In this year’s competition, the maximum weight-limit of the aircraft was 55 pounds but Crimson Skies managed to keep their plane’s weight down to just 19.9 pounds in its heaviest configuration! The team also managed to keep their aircraft to 199.8 watt-hours of energy, just shy of the 200 watt-hour competition limit.

In 2020-21, DBF team was led by Dr. Thomas Hays, their faculty advisor, who played a crucial role in the team’s success. Dr. Hays helped guide the team to an understanding of the AIAA rules, the process of producing a competitive aircraft, and most importantly, by providing his experience with previous Crimson Skies teams. The team was also led by the Team Captain, Naimul Islam, as well as four sub team leads: Thomas Nilles, the chief engineer; Simon Dempsey, whose focus was on Aerodynamics; Adam Henning, who directed Propulsion design; and Blake Raybern, who led Computer Aided Design. During the design phase, the team had a peak of 21 engineering students on the team. The team also received the support and leadership of many OU alumni who volunteered their time to guide the team to a more reliable aircraft and a better understanding of the DBF competition.


In this year’s Design Build Fly Competition, Crimson Skies placed 13th out of 92 teams! This is a fantastic finish for the team, especially during a year that presented several COVID-19 related challenges that included a limit on the number of people that could work on the aircraft at one time. The team was able to achieve this success through the hard work and flexibility of every team member who went above and beyond to meet deadlines and produce results. 

For more information about the DBF Crimson Skies team, check out their Facebook page!



Congratulations to Our 2021 Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Graduates!

This semester we were able to resume in person graduation ceremonies. We want to celebrate each of our AME graduate’s success and wish them the best in their future endeavors!

2021 Masters of Science Degree Recipients

Tess Hartog
Luke Hudson
Paolo Acosta Mogollon
Stephanie Prado Carbonell
Robert Rucker
Brad Woolery

2021 Aerospace Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree Recipients 

Brandon M. Bargas
Kirsten N. Baxter
Luke W. Capehart
Dwight C. Caras
Eric D. Davidson
Simon J. Dempsey
Andrew R. Derryberry
David T. Dowdell
Burlon L. Giles
Nicholas W. Gruber
Adam C. Henning
Nathan W. Herring
Naimul Islam
Taylor R. Jovanovich
Jackson R. Kirby
Callen P. Koiner
Harold Nguyen
Tu T. Nguyen
Thomas M. Nilles
Caleb W. Olson
Zachary S. Randall
Blake D. Raybern
Westley S. Schubert
Robinson M. Shin
Tyler Swisher
Mitchell N. Tompkins
Steven D. Trellis
Faith E. Weber
Vincent G. Webster
Alex S. Zhang
Jun C. Zhang

2021 Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Degree Recipients 

Ishmael Adotey
Travis W. Amstutz
Mohit S. Asnani
Bryce A. Barker
Benjamin W. Basden
Olivier A. Bebine
Caleb M. Bo
Timothy A. Braddy
William S. Callaway
Jaron W. Carvel
Patrick J. Castleberry
Andrew J. Cawley
Austin W. Chan
Eric Chavez
Sarah N. Ciccaglione
Alexander W. Cole
Edvin A. Coyoy Lopez
Aaron T. Craig
Kaamil M. Din
Kevin T. Doe
Harrison S. Dunlap
Martin Elder
Lauren E. Evans
Ariana N. Gannon
Jordan A. Givens
James B. Glock
Preston M. Godinich
Tyler L. Goehler
Nathan C. Grandstaff
Taylor R. Groves
James J. Hardiman
Katie P. Hastings
Hutch T. Helbig
Daniel C. Henry
Clare E. Hillshafer
Duncan G. Hilton
Paige N. Hobart
Hunter B. Hodges
George Huang
Luke T. Hudson
Ifeanyi E. Ijioma
Preston L. Johnson
Ryan R. Johnson
Cory B. Jones
Kiwon Kang
Bryce K. Kanon
Adam C. Kantner
Iain D. Kennedy
Scott M. King
Kevin A. Knop
Hunter M. Lau
Christopher L. Letson
Matthew Llano
Dylan P. Lloyd
Seth D. Long
Adrian E. Lopez
Trey Masri
David C. Mattax
Julian K. Mendiola
Corbin Joel B. Milchesky
Stuart B. Miller
Seapehi Molise
Ryan J. Myers
Caleb G. Nettles
Narcisse Ngole Ngando
Brian R. Nguyen
Tai T. Nguyen
Tobi T. Nguyen
John E. Perry
John H. Pham
Hannah C. Reiners
Jake A. Reynolds
Manuel A. Santiago
Sierra A. Seale
Stephanie C. Sheldon
MaKenzie B. Standridge
Brian R. Strub
Edgar P. Tita
Brady C. VanDyken
Alexander M. Varner
James G. Ware
Samantha M. Williams
Nathan J. Woo
Bradley D. Woolery
Yang Xu
Dongfang Zhao

Sooner Off-Road Team Has Their Most Successful Year

Since 2010, Sooner Off-Road has engineered a vehicle at the University of Oklahoma. Every year they design, manufacture, and compete with a Baja SAE vehicle. Baja SAE consists of three competitions that simulate real-world engineering projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are given a mission to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle that performs well with speed, handling, ride, and ruggedness over rough terrain and off-road conditions. This year the team was led by co-captains Ben Basden and Advika Kamatar and their advisor Dr. Chris Dalton to their most successful year ever!

The Sooner Off-Road team was able to compete in three events this year. One in-person event and, because of Covid-19, one event that took place virtually. In these events the team competed against teams from across the US as well as universities from around the world.

In the virtual competition, the team received 9th place in design presentation, 3rd in the business presentation, and 1st place in the cost presentation. Each of those results is the best the Sooner Off-Road team has ever done in the respective events. Overall, they ended up in 7th place, which is a fantastic result for the team!

For the in-person competition, they achieved 12th in maneuverability, 9th in hill climb, 3rd in suspension, and 2nd in acceleration.  Out of 45 teams who attempted the suspension course, they were one of only three teams to actually complete it. Amazingly, this is the best the Sooner Off-Road team has ever done in those events as well!

We are very proud of the Sooner Off-Road team and congratulate them for their tremendous success!

For more information about the Sooner Off-Road team, check out their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram.