Sooner Rover Team Featured on KOKH Fox 25

The Sooner Rover Team was featured on KOKH Fox 25 news on Tuesday, April 12th. Check out the segment below. The Sooner Rover Team will be at the Norman Public Library on Saturday, April 30th at 2:00PM to showcase their rover and tell you all about the upcoming competition. For more information, visit

View photos of the segment on the AME Facebook page.

AME Undergraduates Receive UROP Support

Two teams of mechanical engineering seniors recently received financial support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) funded through the Office of the Vice President of Research. AME students Mckenna Beard and Tyler Spencer worked together on one project; Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus teamed up for the other project. With the support from UROP, the two teams received research grants of $1,000 each for creative, hands-on projects under the mentorship of a faculty member. Dr. Kuang-Hua Chang, AME Professor, mentored both teams while Jawanza Bassue, AME graduate student, mentored as a design consultant.

Both of the teams had similar objectives: to design a green-energy tricycle that will appeal to commuters at a sale price of $2,000. For Beard and Spencer, their ultimate goal was to create a vehicle that would allow an individual to travel more than 40 miles on a single battery charge without exerting excessive energy. As for Berryman and Burrus, their goal was to improve frame integrity through analysis and lab testing while also reducing the cost of building the frame.

Every year, UROP recipients present the results of their research or accounts of their work in progress at the Honors College’s Undergraduate Research Day. The AME teams presented their research at the annual event on Saturday, April 2, 2016.

Tyler Spencer and Mckenna Beard

Tyler Spencer and Mckenna Beard

Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus

Robert Berryman and Austin Burrus

AME Alumnus Named AIAA Fellow

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recently selected the Class of 2016 AIAA Fellows and Honorary Fellows. This group of Fellows and Honorary Fellows represents the best of the aerospace community, as well as those who have contributed and advanced the aerospace industry. AME alumnus Brian Argrow, Ph.D., was selected as a 2016 AIAA Fellow.

Dr. Argrow graduated from AME with his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 1983, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1986 and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 1989. During his time as a student, he worked closely with Dr. George Emanuel and Dr. Maurice Rasmussen. Dr. Argrow still remains in close contact with Dr. Emanuel today. While pursuing his M.S., Dr. Argrow focused his research on the design of supersonic minimum-length nozzles (MLN) and its application ranged from rocket and scramjet engines to gasdynamics lasers. During his doctoral studies, his research concentrated on the verification and analysis of the MLN flow field. After he completed his Ph.D., Dr. Argrow worked at AME as an Assistant Professor from 1989 to 1992.

In 1992, he move to Boulder to begin his career at the University of Colorado (UC). Dr. Argrow is now a Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, Director of the UC’s Integrated Remote and In-Situ Sensing Program and founding director emeritus of the Research Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV).

Professor Argrow’s research interests range from small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) design and airspace integration to satellite aerodynamics, sonic boom, and engineering education. In the mid-1990s, he led supersonic wind tunnel tests at the NASA Langley Research Center that were the first to verify the method of osculating cones for supersonic waverider design. In 2000, Dr. Argrow’s research team created the first of its kind shock tube to create uniform static initial conditions near 800°F to explore non-classical dense gas dynamics. In 2010 he led the first UAS team to intercept a supercell thunderstorm as part of the second Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX-2), the largest project ever organized to understand tornadoes. The technologies developed by Professor Argrow’s VORTEX-2 research group led to the formation of two companies, UASUSA, a manufacturer of small UAS, and Black Swift Technologies, a company created by RECUV Ph.D. graduates to manufacture autopilots and networked sensing/communications solutions.

Along with Dr. Argrow’s recent honor of being named an AIAA Fellow, he has received several teaching and education awards including the W.M. Keck Foundation Award for Excellence in Engineering Education and is a CU President’s Teaching Scholar, as well as a Fellow of the CU Center for STEM Learning. In 2007, he served as co-chair of the first Symposium for Civilian Applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and since 2008 he has chaired workshops and moderated several panels on research directions for the integration of UAS into the National Airspace System. Dr. Argrow is chair-emeritus of the AIAA Unmanned Systems Program Committee (USPC). During his tenure as chair, he led the USPC to expand its focus to include a technically informed discussion of airspace integration policy and developed a formal partnership with the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). He then organized and chaired the first major joint AIAA/AUVSI event, the second Workshop on Civilian Applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2014 Conference in May 2014.

In 2014, Dr. Argrow completed a semester sabbatical at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory at the National Weather Center in Norman, where he is continuing to collaborate with severe-storms researchers to develop new capabilities for using small UAS for in-situ and remote data collection to advance severe weather forecasting and reduce warning times.

Lastly, Dr. Argrow leaves current AME students with some advice, “I hope that you understand that what you ultimately get out of your education is directly proportional to what you put into it in terms of hard work, perseverance, and the recognition that learning is both a personal responsibility and a life-long commitment.”

AME Senior Jerry Varughese Attends 2016 Pi Tau Sigma National Convention

4AME Senior Jerry Varughese recently traveled to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to represent the Pi Tau Sigma OU Chapter at the 2016 Pi Tau Sigma National Convention from February 19-21st. Jerry Varughese currently serves as President of the OU Chapter. During his time as a member of Pi Tau Sigma, Jerry has held the following roles: President (2015-2016), Vice-President (2014-2015) and Webmaster (2013-2014). Pi Tau Sigma has been an integral part of his experience at the University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Pi Tau Sigma is a National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society. Members are selected on a basis of sound engineering ability, scholarship (upper 35%), personality and probable future success in their chosen field of mechanical engineering. There are three grades of membership: honorary, graduate and active. Honorary members are technical graduates who are actively engaged in engineering work or mechanical engineering faculty members. Graduate membership is designated for those continuing their education through graduate studies. Active members are selected from the junior and senior mechanical engineering classes at their respective universities whose mechanical engineering curriculum must be accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, also known as ABET.

Over 200 Pi Tau Sigma members from across the United States, Mexico and Qatar were in attendance at the 2016 Pi Tau Sigma National Convention. Some of the highlights of the convention include: (1) the design competition hosted by Autodesk in which members gained exposure to their new CAD software Fusion360, (2) the tour of the California Science Center given by American Astronaut Dr. Paul Rooney, and (3) the Saturday evening keynote speaker Dr. Mau deRidder of Virgin Galactic.


During the tour of the California Science Center, Pi Tau Sigma members were granted access to Space Shuttle Endeavour. This space shuttle was the last to be launched into orbit under NASA’s STS Program.

2Pictured to the left is Jerry with American Astronaut Dr. Paul Rooney. He is the faculty advisor of USC’s Tau Beta Chapter.


Pictured above is Jerry with one of the Space Shuttle’s main three engines. “Growing up, I still remember watching the space shuttle launches on TV,” said Jerry. “It was an amazing experience to finally be able to see one of these engineering marvels in person.”

Jerry will graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. “Pi Tau Sigma has been one of the greatest experiences in my college career. It has afforded me the opportunity to not only attend this convention, but also network with my fellow Pi Tau Sigma Colleagues, as well as, industry professionals,” said Jerry. “Pi Tau Sigma has added significant value to my experience here at the University of Oklahoma, as well as, my future career in industry.”

The Dave and Susan Bert Team Room at AME

In the spring of 2015, Dave and Susan Bert made a generous donation to the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering for the creation and renovation of a graduate student team room in the Engineering Laboratory. Upon completion of the renovation, the team room was named The Dave and Susan Bert Team Room. An official unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday, March 7, 2016 with Dave Bert, members of the Graduate Student Community, AME faculty and AME staff in attendance.

DSC_4637The Dave and Susan Bert Team Room was completely renovated from top to bottom with new carpeting, tables, glass boards, and much more. The room was created as a multipurpose space for AME graduate students for group meetings, presentations, study groups, a lounge, and much more.

The Leadership Team of AME’s Graduate Student Community worked together to design and create The Dave and Susan Bert Team Room. Jelena Milisavljevic led the graduate students in coordination of the team room with fellow GSC peers, including Jackson Autrey, Arun Balakrishnan, Luke N. Balmer, Jawanza N. Bassue, Amber L. Kapoor, Anand Balu Nellippallil, Oluwaseyi T. Ogunsola, Stewart E. Ohler, Mahyar Pourghasemi, Maryam Sabeghi, and Mortaza Saeidi. In addition to the graduate students, M. Cengiz Altan, AME Director; Farrokh Mistree, GSC Faculty Mentor; Melissa Foster, Danielle Geier, Debbie Mattax, Billy Mays, Rebecca Norris, Kate O’Brien-Hamoush, and Greg Williams, AME Staff; assisted with the renovation.


The Bert family is one of loyal distinction to AME. Dave Bert is the son of the late Dr. Charles W. Bert, who served as a faculty member at AME for more than 40 years and also served two terms for a combined 11 years as AME Director. In addition to Dr. Bert’s legacy at AME, Dave Bert and his family continue to leave their mark. Dave is the Vice President of Drilling for Chesapeake Energy Corporation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from OU AME in 1985. Dave has been a member of AME’s Board of Advisors since 2003 and has also served as Chair. He also serves as a member of the Gallogly College of Engineering Advisory Board. In 2012, Dave was inducted into the University of Oklahoma Gallogly College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society.


Dave and Susan Bert have been married for over 25 years. They have two daughters, Bailey and Brianna. The Bert family resides in Edmond. Bailey attends the University of Arkansas and plays the piccolo in the Razorback Marching Band. Brianna and Susan play competitive tennis and enjoy volunteering. Dave enjoys reading, civic and sporting activities. The family enjoys watching Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games together, church activities, and traveling.


The AME Graduate Student Community, as well as its faculty and staff, would like to thank Dave and Susan Bert for their generous donation! Because of donors like you, AME will continue to provide the best educational experience for our students!

AME GSC Hosts Poster Fair

On Monday, March 7, 2016, the AME Graduate Student Community hosted a Graduate Student Poster Fair. Students presented their research to a panel of judges. The team of judges included AME faculty Andrea L’Afflitto, Yingtao Liu and Kuang-Hua Chang, and AME Board of Advisors members Dave Bert, Tommy Lear and Matt Green. The judges rated each presentation and selected first, second and third place winners.


Anand Balu Nellippallil received third place with his research titled An Inductive Method for the Exploration of Solution Space for Studying Thermo-Mechanical Behavior of AA 5083 Aluminum Alloy during Hot Rolling.


Mortaza Saeidijavash received second place with his research titled High Thermal Conductivity Polymer Nanocomposites.


Arun Balakrishnan received first place with his research titled Effects of Degree of Fuel Unsaturation on NOx Emission Form Petroleum and Biofuel Flames.


Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants! To view more photos of the GSC Poster Fair, please visit the AME Facebook Page.

Dalton Awarded Brandon H. Griffith Award

Dalton_WebChris Dalton, Ph.D., was recently awarded the Brandon H. Griffith Award at the Engineer’s Week banquet on Saturday, February 27, 2016. The Brandon H. Griffith Award was established in 1969 in honor of Professor Brandon H. Griffith, one of the most beloved and respected professors ever to teach in the Gallogly College of Engineering. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and extraordinary support for students. Professors receiving this award have demonstrated their dedication while making their teaching a priority.

Dr. Dalton was born in Wichita, Kansas, but has spent over 11 years of his life in Norman as both a student and a faculty member. He received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Dalton returned to OU AME in August 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Engineering Practice after spending several years as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Even though Dr. Dalton has only been teaching at OU for less than one year, it is evident to his students that he will do amazing things at AME for many years to come.

When asked what his favorite thing about teaching students is, Dr. Dalton stated, “I love seeing improvement in performance over the course of the semester.”

Congratulations, Dr. Chris Dalton!

NORDAM Donates to Aerospace Engineering Capstone Team

The School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma is excited to welcome NORDAM as a significant contributor to the Aerospace Engineering Capstone Program. NORDAM gifted $5,000 to AIAA Design Build Fly (DBF), an Aerospace Engineering Capstone team. Because of this donation, the team members will receive an enhanced experiential learning experience while working on their project and finishing their aerospace engineering degrees.


“We are pleased to offer financial support for this worthy project, and equally excited to bring the insights and expertise of NORDAM’s own stakeholders as student design advisors,” said Bailey J. Siegfried, NORDAM Vice President of Global Marketing. “By lending our support to the Capstone Program, we’re continuing our commitment to collaborate with the community to inspire the next generation of aerospace leaders.”

Dr. Thomas Hays, AME Assistant Professor, is the current advisor of DBF and co-chair of the Aerospace Engineering Capstone Program. Like the students, he is more than ready to put the NORDAM donation to good use. The support from NORDAM has enabled the development of a small electric propulsion Dynamometer and the purchase of vacuum pump roll carts, and has also provided materials for DBF’s structural optimization and characterization study.

“The Dynamometer is presently being designed and created by AME students as a combination of independent study and capstone projects,” said Hays. “It will be ready for use by the 2016-2017 DBF team to measure real propeller and motor and battery performance in the L.A. Comp Subsonic Wind Tunnel at AME, enabling true-to-life characterization of propulsion system design space.”

In addition, the vacuum pump roll carts will be mobile assets used by the team to compact composite layups and experience industry level composite fabrication methods in the Aerospace Engineering Capstone Program. NORDAM’s funding also enabled an independent study project investigating weight optimal structural design through combined FEA and physical article testing. These are just three projects that are currently happening directly because of NORDAM’s support, with budget remaining for DBF materials, tooling and project support.

Along with the gift, NORDAM representatives will meet and advise the AIAA DBF capstone team for design reviews and for a final review at the end of the spring semester. On December 8th, the NORDAM representatives visited the team. Josh Giguiere, Raegen Siegfried and Holly Dyer met the team for a lunch meeting and a brief overview of the progress of their project. The next design review is scheduled for Thursday, February 18th.

“This donation and the relationship with NORDAM offers a direct improvement to the readiness and quality of the AME graduates that will benefit both NORDAM and the University of Oklahoma in the years to come,” said Hays.

Many thanks to NORDAM for supporting AME and the Aerospace Engineering Capstone Program!

Connect with NORDAM:   |   Twitter   |   Facebook

Celebrating Accomplishments and Not Being a Fraud

The AME Graduate Student Community holds a weekly seminar series hosting various faculty and graduate students. As the group hoped to expand the series, they applied for and received funding from OU’s Graduate College and Campus Activities Council Speakers Bureau, along with other contributors, to host Dr. Valerie Young.


Dr. Young visited OU on February 4, 2016 for a presentation called Imposter Syndrome in the Meacham Auditorium of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Imposter Syndrome refers to high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and suffer from persistent fears of being exposed as frauds.

In addition to Young’s presentation, GSC and AME’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) planned an event to kick-off the presentation. Before the presentation, AME undergraduate and graduate students set up a show-and-tell style walk through featuring various research, projects and teams. The event was known as Celebrating Our Accomplishments. Together the two events were publicized as Celebrating Accomplishments and Not Being a Fraud. Both events were open campus-wide and free of charge.


The day of the event participants arrived early to set up their builds and research posters. A steady flow of attendees passed through the event from 3:00-4:30PM. Dr. Young arrived and began her presentation at 5:00PM. Her presentation took the form of an engaged discussion where participants were encouraged to form groups while interacting and exploring their feelings and interpretation of the impostor syndrome.


“I’d like to highlight the fact that GSC is dedicated to improving the experience of graduate students at AME, but also interested in assisting their undergraduate counterparts in planning and leading events,” said Jawanza Bassue, GSC member and SAC chair. “Fostering a better relationship between the mostly segregated groups,”

Because Celebrating Accomplishments and Not Being a Fraud was a success, the GSC and SAC hope to grow the event as an annual occurrence with increased planning and further engagement of students.


Photos compliments of Jawanza Bassue. To view additional photos from the events, please click here.