Sooner Racing Team (SRT) recently attended Formula SAE® Lincoln. The competition took place in Lincoln, Nebraska hosting 80 teams. Out of those 80 teams, SRT finished 18th overall. In addition to their overall finish, they placed 16th in endurance and received 3rd place in fuel efficiency. With their 3rd place finish, SRT brought home a trophy for the first time in several years!

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Formula SAE® is a student design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The concept behind Formula SAE® 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.

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

Sooner Rover Team recently took home the gold at the 6th Annual RASC-AL Robo-Ops Challenge sponsored by NASA. Not only did the Sooner Rover Team win the national competition, they set records, beating the standing rock yard record by over 200%. The team finished with a final score of 132. The second place team trailed behind with a score of 48.

The Robo-Ops Challenge took place at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The selected student teams had to design life-sized rovers that could move and climb through various terrain, collect rock samples and store them, and navigate through the rock yard all while being controlled remotely from each team’s home university with real-time video feeds from the rovers’ cameras. Teams had one hour to collect and secure the rock samples along with bonus challenges. In addition to the rock yard challenge, teams also had to present a technical paper, a poster and carry out a public outreach program.

Among the eight teams at the competition, Sooner Rover Team stood out from the beginning with their unique design. Rovie McRoverface (the rover’s given name) was modeled after a 1980’s Russian lunar rover featuring a spine, six cone-shaped wheels and a robotic arm. This allowed the rover to bend and travel through various terrain at the competition more easily. Clearly, the unique design paid off.

Rovie McRoverface collected all 26 rock samples and completed all four bonus challenges flawlessly. The team’s score was recorded on the scoreboard by NASA followed with a “WOW.” But, seriously.

“I felt a little like I was dreaming that the rover was performing so well,” said Dane Schoelen, Sooner Rover Team Project Lead. “When mission control successfully completed the contingencies task through amazing teamwork and improvisation, I felt like there was no way I wasn’t dreaming. It is satisfying that after all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into creating our rover, we were able to put on an outstanding performance.”

The team is made up of all Gallogly College of Engineering students and advised by AME Professor David Miller, Ph.D. The team members at mission control were Bill Doyle, Brent Wolf, Alex Borgerding, Jacob Jordan, Oskar Paredes, Ashley Findley, Janella Clary, Matthew Solcher and Aaron Condreay, and the members who went to competition were Nathan Justus, Dane Schoelen and Kevin Cotrone.

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The team won first place, broke and set records and brought home a $6,000 prize that they hope will go towards next year’s rover. It is safe to say the team will be set with experienced members as Nathan Justus was the only senior. He will start his career at NASA in Houston as an operations engineer at mission control for the International Space Station.

“I cannot emphasize enough how hard our team worked to make sure that we were prepared for that day. Our performance and the recognition we got from NASA, NIA, and the other teams made all of that work worth it,” said Nathan Justus, Sooner Rover Team Chief Engineer. “Of course, the project had merit of its own and the learning process was substantial, but whatever, it feels good to have DESTROYED and earned that with blood and mind power.”

Congratulations, Sooner Rover Team! We are so proud of your hard work and success!

On Thursday, May 5, 2016 the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering hosted its annual Senior Design Poster Fair in Devon Energy Hall and the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility. A total of 33 senior teams participated in the poster fair. These student groups have worked 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.

Aerospace Engineering:

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1st Place Aerospace Engineering: AIAA DBF Crimson Skies-Aaron Allred, Alex Spens, Chris Sherlock, Dalton Gregory, Nathan Justus, Seth Fackler

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2nd Place Aerospace Engineering: Composites Processes and Weather Rocket Design-Justin Jackson, Alex McKinstry, Karl Verschuren, Dustin Rann, Jon Stone, Mitch Lonergan

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3rd Place Aerospace Engineering: Unmanned Aerial System Dynamometer-Daniel Carlton, Alec Watson, Hannah Hunt, Tonči Maleta

Mechanical Engineering:

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First Place Overall (Tie): Design of a Test Setup for Multiple Butterfly Valves-Michael Howell, Tyler Spencer, Colin Sullivan, Garrett Svane AND Experimental Setup to Evaluate Life of Dynamic Polymer Seals in Fluids with Particulates-Karl Geerts, Jordan Miller, Marli Sussman

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Third Place Overall: Error Free Part Identification-Caleb Davis, McKenzie Middle, Sylivia Tran, Matthew Von Gonten

Fourth Place Overall: Optimization of an Impeller-Christie Alexander, Sean Davison, Sam Delagi, Alli Haselwood, Patrick Helms

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Fifth Place Overall: Design of a Green-Energy Tricycle-Tyler Spencer, Mckenna Beard, Addison Berryman, Austin Burrus

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Outstanding Prototype Design: MEMS Subsea Autonomous Robot-Bao Ngo, Nick Julch, Ryan Jacob, Viet Tran, Moises Bernal

Outstanding Prototype Design: Optimization of an Impeller-Christie Alexander, Sean Davison, Sam Delagi, Alli Haselwood, Patrick Helms

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Outstanding Interdisciplinary: Error Free Part Identification-Caleb Davis, McKenzie Middle, Sylvia Tran, Matthew Von Gonten

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Outstanding Interdisciplinary: ESP Warehouse Productivity-Abdullah Albukhidhr, Aziz Taylakh, David Graft, Elyssa Mooney

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Outstanding Interdisciplinary: Cable Preparation Cell in ESP Control Plant-Jackie Chen, Christopher Flix, Kitty Winstel, Jerry Varughese

Outstanding Studies: Tinker Energy Assessment-Konnor Lohman, Tanner Nees, Vu Tran, Michele Musgrove

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Outstanding Studies: Mechanical Seal Test Stand-Christina Chavez, Wenyuan Luo, Alex Stockyard, Briek Pauwels

Outstanding Testing: Design of a Test Setup for Multiple Butterfly Valves-Michael Howell, Tyler Spencer, Colin Sullivan, Garrett Svane

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Outstanding Testing: Experimental Setup to Evaluate Life of Dynamic Polymer Seals in Fluids with Particulates-Karl Geerts, Jordan Miller, Marli Sussmann

Outstanding Vehicle Design: Design of Green-Energy Tricycle-Tyler Spencer, Mckenna Beard, Addison Berryman, Austin Burrus

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First Place Phillips 66 Presentation Award: Design of a Test Setup for Multiple Butterfly Valves-Michael Howell, Tyler Spencer, Colin Sullivan, Garrett Svane

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Second Place Phillips 66 Presentation Award: Sooner Off-Road: Semi-Trailing Arm Suspension-Gatlin Arnold, Stephen Walta, Tim Willis

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Third Place Phillips 66 Presentation Award: Optimization of an Impeller-Christie Alexander, Sean Davison, Sam Delagi, Alli Haselwood, Patrick Helms

To view the full album from the poster fair on the AME Facebook page, 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 recently celebrated the end of the school year with their annual Spring Senior Luncheon in conjunction to the Spring Board of Advisors’ (BOA) meeting. During the luncheon, Tommy Lear, BOA Chair, gave a keynote presentation. AME also celebrated the seniors and bid them farewell and good luck in their future endeavors. Lastly, AME honored two special groups of students. The first was the AME Undergraduate Outstanding Students and the second was the Graduate Student Scholarship Recipients. DSC_4958X

Outstanding Students (left to right): Joel Jimenez Cortez, ME Outstanding Junior; Nathan Justus, AE Outstanding Senior; Jordan Logue, AE Outstanding Junior; Dickens Danson Mugumya, AE Outstanding Sophomore; Octavio Serrano, ME Outstanding Sophomore; and Tim Willis, ME Outstanding Senior.

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Graduate Student Scholarship Recipients (left to right): Mustafa Ghazi, Thomas Milam Scholarship; Anand Balu Nellippallil, Frank Chuck Mechanical Engineering Scholarship; Mortaza Saeidijavash, Jim & Bee Close Scholarship; Alejandro Rivas, Jim & Bee Close Scholarship; Jawanza Bassue, ConocoPhillips Scholarship; and (not pictured) Jelena Milisavljevic, Close and Francis Family Scholarship.

Congratulations to the recipients, and good luck to the seniors!

Congratulations to the University of Oklahoma’s Crimson Skies Design Build Fly team for their 5th place finish at the International AIAA Design Build Fly Competition in Wichita, Kansas on April 15-17, 2016. The competition hosted 80 teams from across the world including the University of Texas, Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Southern California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cairo University, Johns Hopkins University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and many more.

Competition Details:

  • The team successfully completed tech inspection on its first attempt.
  • [Mission 1]  The airplane overheated and short circuited a motor on the first flight (working hard against 20 MPH Wichita winds melted the insulating enamel on the coils).
  • The team was prepared with spare parts to repair the aircraft and propulsion system. They removed took two cells to avoid a similar motor failure and were successful in the very next flight window (~1.5 hours later, still in 20MPH winds).
  • [Mission 2] Mothership airplane carried the smaller craft internally, one lap, good landing just as practiced (25MPH winds).
  • [Mission 3] The team executed the most problematic mission without issue in the most challenging winds of the contest (30MPH).

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Team members of Crimson Skies include:

  • Dalton Gregory, Project Manager
  • Seth Fackler, Chief Engineer
  • Alex Spens, Structures Group Lead
  • Dan Carlton, Propulsion Group Lead
  • Nathan Justus, Aerodynamics Group Lead
  • Aaron Allred, Control Systems Specialist
  • Alec Watson, Propulsion Dynomometer Development
  • Chris Sherlock, Manufacturing Specialist
  • Christine Greve
  • Hunter Herzfeld
  • Timothy Blackford
  • Clayton Smith
  • Amy Griffin
  • Alex Bryant
  • Vishnu Priya Parasaram
  • Dylan Gregory
  • Thomas Hays, Faculty Advisor

2016-04-16 16.31.51This top five finish was the best ever finish for OU’s Crimson Skies DBF! A very special thanks to NORDAM for its team sponsorship. The success of the University of Oklahoma at this competition is in great part due to the resources made available by NORDAM.

Congratulations, Crimson Skies! We are so proud of your hard work and great success!

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Andrew Kocarnik is pictured on the right with his third place certificate.

AME Graduate Student Andrew Kocarnik recently participated in the AIAA Region IV Graduate Student Paper Competition receiving third place. His paper is titled, “Analysis of the Momentum Method and Blade Element Theory as Applied to Rotorcraft.” Andrew is currently pursuing his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering at OU.

“His work in our helicopter-centric independent study has been exemplary, and the award is well deserved,” said Assistant Professor Thomas Hays, Ph.D. “This paper was based on just the first portion of his work in the semester!”

As a third place winner, Andrew received a $250 cash prize.

Congratulations, Andrew!

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

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.

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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.

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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.”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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