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.”

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.

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!

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