Applications are Open for the NASA JSC Pathways Program


The NASA JSC Pathways Program applications open today, September 14, 2020, and Abigail Moore, an AME student in the Pathways Program, wants to encourage other students to apply.

“I can’t recommend it enough to other OU engineering students,” Moore said. “I’ve met some of my best friends, learned things years ahead of my classes, and worked on things that will go to space before I graduate!”

“NASA is looking for well-rounded students who are self-motivated, passionate and want to join our ranks as we lead human space exploration. This position provides students with the opportunity to explore NASA careers and gain meaningful developmental work experience. The Pathways internship employment program is a co-op program where students rotate semesters between school and interning at Johnson Space Center working on projects from designing spacesuit helmets to teaching astronaut training classes to destructive battery testing. The Pathways program also provides the best path to a full-time job with the agency as a civil servant upon graduation,” Moore said.

Announcements are posted to on 9/14/20 and will stay open for 1-2 days. Students can prepare to apply by developing a profile in USAJobs ahead of time, building their resume, and creating a notification for NASA Pathways Intern opportunities that will alert them when the announcements open. If anyone has any questions, they can visit the website or contact Abigail Moore directly at

How to Prepare

1. Go to USAJOBS.GOV to create an account. Click on ‘create a account’ in the orange box and follow the prompts. Once you have created your account on, click ‘continue’ to log back into USAJOBs.

2. Create a profile. Before you can apply, you will need to complete your profile. Select ‘Complete Profile.’

3. Build your Resume: After you complete your profile, you can build your resume.  It is key that you do this before the announcement comes out.

4. Set up a Job Alert: Create an alert through the “saved search” function. Saved searches will automatically search for jobs based on your search criteria and email you when there are new jobs available. Pathways announcements are listed as “Student Trainee” roles.

5. Once you have set up your alert, you will be notified when Pathways vacancies open. Once you find an opportunity, follow the instructions in the “How to Apply” section of the announcement.

One important note: Each job announcement will be considered closed at 10:59 p.m. CST on either the date that a specific number of applications are received or on 9/16/20, whichever occurs first.

You can find more info on the program, including qualifications, here:

Dr. SeungYeon Kang Gives Seminar over Advanced Laser-Materials-Processing Techniques for Nanofabrication of Functional Materials and Energy Harvesting Devices

SeungYeon Kang, Ph.D. presented a seminar Friday, March 6, over, “Advanced Laser-Materials-Processing Techniques for Nanofabrication of Functional Materials and Energy Harvesting Devices.” Dr. Kang is a Program Manager for NSF’s SHAP3D additive manufacturing center at the University of Connecticut.

Abstract: Increasing number of novel materials, structures and device are being designed every day to revolutionize our future. Accordingly, new fabrication methods to complement the designs must be developed for actual realization of the devices. In this talk I’ll start by discussing the use of ultrafast lasers for advanced materials processing techniques and the significance of developing new nanofabrication methods for cost-effective manufacturing and rapid prototyping with high accuracy. The focus of my talk will be on a novel direct laser writing technique that enables fabrication of 3D metal-dielectric nanocomposite structures of tunable dimensions ranging from hundreds of nanometers to micrometers. This true 3D patterning technique utilizes nonlinear optical interactions between chemical precursors and femtosecond pulses to go beyond the limitations of conventional fabrication techniques that require multiple postprocessing steps and/or are restricted to fabrication in two dimensions. The first part of the talk will end with a further discussion on possible applications including metamaterials, graphene-based devices and etc. In the shorter second part of the talk, I’ll introduce a relatively new material of research interest called piezoelectrochemical materials and another advanced laser-materials-processing technique that utilizes laser induced forward transfer (LIFT). I’ll end with a discussion on how one can use these two research areas to develop energy harvesting devices that convert ambient mechanical energy into electrochemical energy.

Biography: Dr. SeungYeon Kang is currently the program manager for NSF’s SHAP3D additive manufacturing center at University of Connecticut. Her research interests are focused on advanced laser materials processing techniques, fundamental principles and application of light-matter interaction, nanofabrication and energy technology. She obtained her B.A. degree from Cornell University in chemical engineering and received her Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Harvard University, where she focused on ultrafast laser processing of materials and developed a novel 3D nanofabrication technique. After her graduate studies, she worked at Samsung SDI as a senior research engineer on lithium ion batteries and at Princeton University as a postdoctoral research associate. Her various research resulted in several patents and she is the recipient of Samsung SDI Scholarship, Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) research Fellowship and Princeton Postdoctoral Fellowship in scientific writing.

Dr. Sergey Averkin Gives Seminar Over Kinetic Simulations of Non-equilibrium Phenomena in Partially Ionized Plasmas

Sergey Averkin, Ph.D., a Research Scientist from Tech-X Corporation, gave a seminar Friday, February 28. He spoke about, “Kinetic Simulations of Non-equilibrium Phenomena in Partially Ionized Plasmas.”

Abstract: Partially ionized plasmas have many applications in science and engineering. The examples of applications include space propulsion, material processing including production of nanomaterials, ion sources, display panels, medicine. Modeling and simulation of non-equilibrium chemically reacting plasmas is a challenging problem owing to the presence of complicated plasma chemistry and coupling between volume, surface, and transport non-equilibrium processes. Simulation approaches span from volume averaged global models that incorporate thousands of chemical reactions and include simplified assumptions regarding transport to computationally expensive kinetic simulation methods that allow to calculate detailed information of plasma transport and usually employ simplified chemical models to speedup simulations.

The first part of the talk presents a Global Enhanced Vibrational Kinetic (GEVKM) model and its application to the simulation of an RF discharge chamber of a new High Current Negative Hydrogen Ion Source developed by Busek Co. Inc. and WPI. The GEVKM is supplemented by a comprehensive set of surface and volumetric chemical processes (22 species and more than 1000 chemical reactions) governing vibrational and ionization kinetics of hydrogen plasmas. The model is computationally efficient. It was used in parametric studies with thousands of points in parameter space.

The second part of the talk outlines new developments in the Particle-in-Cell and Direct Simulation Monte Carlo methods (PIC/DSMC) that are used to model partially ionized plasmas and rarefied gases that are described by kinetic equations coupled with the Poisson equation. The PIC/DSMC method can provide detailed information of the distribution functions of plasma components in complicated geometries. The applications of the PIC/DSMC method to simulations of flows inside nanonozzles and around CubeSat are presented. In addition, novel simulations of plasma assisted growth of nanoparticles using PIC/DSMC method are discussed.

Biography: Dr. Sergey N. Averkin received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow, Russia, in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, MA,  in 2015. From 2015 to 2016, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and an Adjunct Teaching Professor at WPI. In 2018 Dr. Averkin was a Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Currently he is a Research Scientist at the Tech-X Corporation, Boulder, CO, USA. His current research interests include advanced numerical simulations of nonequilibrium phenomena in chemically reacting rarefied gases and plasmas. Applications of such simulations include space propulsion, mass and heat transport at micro and nano scales, ion sources, plasma processing. Dr. Averkin is a member of the American Physical Society (APS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Dr. Woong-Yeol Joe Gives Seminar Over Design and Control of a Camber Morphing Wing Aircraft

On Friday, February 21, Woong-Yeol Joe, Ph.D. gave a seminar over, “Design and Control of a Camber Morphing Wing Aircraft.” Dr. Joe is an Associate Professor from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Tennessee State University.

Abstract: Wing morphing technologies in general aim to optimize aircraft’ efficiency by changing and adjusting the shape of wings in compliance to corresponding flight conditions. Among many types of wing morphing, suggested variable camber compliant morphing in airfoil morphing enables aircraft to have seamless, conformal, and energy and noise effective change of wing geometry that significantly reduces drag force or lift-drag ratio. Unlike typical approaches of using smart materials or partial morphing of trailing-edge, mechanism-driven camber morphing wing via linear actuators enables fixed wing aircraft wing to adjust camber rates conformally, dynamically, and firmly along the wing span. For realization of actual flight and control of camber morphing wing aircraft, it is of interest (1) to investigate the nature of structural and aerodynamical behaviors of camber morphing wings while flight, (2) to study difference and similarity between the conventional wing and the camber morphing wings in control aspects, (3) to design and implement the skin structure of camber morphing wings along with characteristics of 3D printed structure. This presentation covers overview of morphing technologies, motivation and benefits of camber morphing, design of control allocation aspect of camber morphing wings, and design and implementation of skin structure for camber morphing wings with perspectives of 3D/4D printing.

Biography: Dr. Woong Yeol Joe is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Tennessee State University (TSU), Nashville TN. Currently, he is doing his first sabbatical year at ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Knoxville TN focused on 3D/4D manufacturing technology. Before he joined it in fall 2014 at TSU, he was working as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University during 2011-2014 and Florida State University as Research Associate during 2010-2011. His main research interests are 1) design and control of morphorous structures (4D printing), 2) design of flight control systems, and 3) dynamics/kinematics and mechanism design of mechanical systems in the applications of aerospace, mechanical, and robotic systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, NY in 2010, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New York University, NY in 2006, and B.S in Electrical Engineering from Hong-iK University in 2003.

Dr. Song Receives Multiple Awards for Current Research

Dr. Li Song, an associate professor at AME, received three awards for her current research projects. Two awards are from the Department of Energy, and the third award is from Battelle – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Song is the lead PI for the development and validation of a home comfort system for total performance deficiency/fault detection and optimal control project, which received a DOE fund of $993,149. The research team will develop and validate a smart thermostat-integrated low-cost home energy management system, including a data connection framework; a computationally efficient, self-learning home thermal model; automatic fault detection and analysis algorithms; and home energy management information and controls based on in-situ measured efficiencies of heating and cooling equipment, the air distribution system, and the building envelope.

The second DOE fund is $551,566 for the performance demonstration of an occupancy sensor-enabled integrated solution for commercial buildings project. The research team will validate the performance and savings of three HVAC control (fan, cooling coil valve, outside air) algorithms integrated with occupancy sensing data to optimize ventilation delivery.

A $50,000 award was given to Song from Battelle – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for her “Transactive-Control Based Connected Home Solution for Existing Residential Units and Communities” project.

This is a summary of Song’s research proposal sent to Battelle: To obtain the overall project aims, the development of machine learning techniques to calibrate the initial physical model that estimates and predicts energy use of a house and its response to control signals is extremely important. An effective home thermal model, that can predict the indoor air temperature dynamics under different weather, HVAC output and internal gains from appliances and occupants, is essential for the development.

BEEL initiated the development of a self-learning home thermal model two years ago. The BEEL home model, currently limited for a house with an A/C and gas-furnace heater, can automatically identify the model parameters with minimum data needed and precisely predict the space temperature and home HVAC energy uses for a house. To enhance the connectivity and compatibility of the platform proposed by PNNL, BEEL is committed to expand the home thermal model for a heat pump system and test enhanced home model using two houses located in Oklahoma through the partnership with OG&E. The challenge of modeling the heat pump is that the heating output from a heat pump is no longer constant as-is for a gas furnace heater. A correlation of the heating output of a heat pump and outdoor air temperature needs to be formulated and similarly, a correlation between cooling output of a heat pump and weather might be needed for cooling season as well.

Congratulations Dr. Song!

Additional News About Dr. Song’s Research:
Dr. Song’s Research is Promoted in the Press
Dr. Song Receives 2018 ASHRAE Technical Paper Award


Undergraduate Rocket Research Group has Successful Launch

The University of Oklahoma’s Undergraduate Rocket Research group launched a rocket in Argonia, Kansas on March 10th, 2019. Dr. Thomas Hays and his students are proud of the results.

The rocket had a maximum speed of Mach 1.15 and weighed 105 pounds. The students involved in the launch were Kaley Hassell, Jarod Manning, Alex Speed, and Scott Tesser. Congratulations on your successful launch!

Click here to watch the video of the rocket.

The Sooner Racing Team Competition Results are in!

The Sooner Racing Team had a successful competition at Formula SAE Lincoln, an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The team traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska from June 19-22 and exceeded their goals for the competition.

The Sooner Racing Team received 14th in the cost event, 14th in fuel efficiency, 22nd in endurance, 26th in acceleration, 29th in design, and a 10th place award for the quality of their engineering drawings. They finished the competition 33rd overall out of the 80 teams. Additionally, the team got through technical inspections in the first two days with only minor adjustments needed, completed all of the static and dynamic events, and finished the endurance race. Overall, the team is very happy with the results and the way the car came out this year.

Congratulations Sooner Racing Team! Click here to learn more information about the team.

OU Boeing Engineering Days is Featured in The OU Daily

On July 20, 2019, the OU Boeing Engineering Days camp was featured in the OU Daily. Nancy Spears, senior news reporter, wrote about how high school juniors and seniors were able to learn more about the engineering program at OU in the article, “Potential OU students explore engineering programs, sink ‘battleships’ at OU Boeing Engineering Days.”

[from OU Daily Article]

Click here to read the full article.

2019 Capstone Fair Results are in!

The school of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering held the annual capstone fair on May 2, 2019. Forty one mechanical engineering teams and eight aerospace projects participated in the fair.

Overall 1st Place (tie)

“Sooner Off-Road”: Matt Muhlinghause, Haley Ricks, Devin Prochniak

Overall 1st Place (tie)

“B-52 Spoiler Fixture Redesign”: Morgan Wolfe, Tyler Thibodeaux, Alexandra Arment, Roshan Mathews, Alex Mudd

Overall 2nd Place

“Setup to Evaluate Debris-Scrapper Ring Designs”: Courtney Holloway, Nicholas Son, Alexander Nagy, Abel Rivera, Haydn Kirkpatrick

Overall 3rd Place

“Vehicle Mast: Raising/Lowering Methods”: Michael Evans, Armahn Roozbeh, Austin Petit, Sarah Mailot, Luke Starks

Aerospace Winners Overall:

Overall 1st Place Aerospace

“Boomer Rocket Team Analysis Team”: Abby Roper, Ryan GannonTanner Mann, Nick Cobb, Evelyn Webb, Shaik ZehadBen Shwaiko, Jordan Masterson

Overall 2nd Place Aerospace

“Boomer Rocket Team Manufacturing Team”: Nathan Cook, David Brown, Trevor Trevino, Joshua Hughes, Jalen Johnson, Levi Lunsford

Overall 3rd Place Aerospace

“Design Build Fly Aerodynamics Team”: Vann Wilkerson, Jake Ewing, Alex Bryant, Jen-On Fung


Category – Vehicle Design:

Vehicle Design 1stPlace

“Sooner Off-Road”: Matt Muhlinghause, Haley Ricks, Devin Prochniak

 Vehicle Design 2nd Place

“Sooner Racing Team”: Adam Flenniken, Ryan Cowdrey, Justin Porter, Jack Sartin


Category – Experimental and Testing:

Experimental and Testing 1st Place

“Setup to Evaluate Debris-Scrapper Ring Design”: Courtney Holloway, Nicholas Son, Alexander Nagy, Abel Rivera, Haydn Kirkpatrick

Experimental and Testing 2nd Place

 “Test Bench for ESP Seal Section Permeability”: Logan Vitello, Travis Wilbanks, Ifeanyi Ijioma, Marshall Thorpe, Logan Roys

Experimental and Testing 3rd Place

“Recording System for Animal Ocular Movement”: Spencer Gallucci, Shangru Wu, Venus Luong, Joshua McCraw


Category – Studies:

Studies 1st Place

 “B-52 Spoiler Fixture Design”:  Morgan Wolfe, Tyler Thibodeaux, Alexandra Arment, Roshan Mathews, Alex Mudd

Studies 2nd Place

 “Vehicle Mast: Raising/Lowering Methods”: Michael Evans, Armahn Roozbeh, Austin Petit, Sarah Mailot, Luke Starks

Studies 3rd Place

“Piezoelectric Sensors for HVAC Applications”: Joseph Nostrand, Ryan Perkins, Spencer Hinkle

Studies 4th Place

“FAA OSHA Compliant Climbing Methods for Human Safety”: Wesley Dale, Lauren Tangney, Brent Fenske, Jon Ballard


Category – Prototype Design:

Prototype Design 1st Place

“Gaming/Electronics Assist Equipment”: Pranav Mohan, Ashley Medice, Gerald Lance, David Carris

Prototype Design 2nd Place

“Robotic Arm System for Hospital Use”: Luis Donoso, Pum Mang, Tuan Vu, Aaron Vu

The Practical Engineering Award

 “Piezoelectric Sensors for HVAC Applications”: Joseph Nostrand, Ryan Perkins, Spencer Hinkle


Category – Presentation:

Presentation 1st Place

“Vehicle Mast: Load Analysis and Failure Modes”: Wesley Dale, Lauren Tangney, Brent Fenske, Jon Ballard

Presentation 2nd Place

“Setup to Conduct Permeation Experiments on Barriers”: Samuel Infanti, Katherine Faux, Karim Aznag, Austin McKee

Presentation 3rd Place

“3D Printing for Shape Memory Polymers”: Colton Ross, Ryan Bodlak, Luke Whitney, Wyatt Maney, Robert Beem

Boomer Rocket Team Receives 3rd Place at Competition

Boomer Rocket Team received 3rd place at the Argonia cup competition. The event took place in Argonia, Kansas from March 30-31, 2019.

The competition objective was to launch a rocket-powered vehicle in excess of 8,000’ AGL. The rocket had to contain a golf ball payload, and the team had to recover the payload safely at a predetermined location on the rocket range.

Congratulations Boomer Rocket Team!