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UTSI students win best paper awards at AIAA conference

Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

Andrew Fist and Dimitrios A. Kakavelakis III, of the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI), competed this year in the Masters Division of the 64th AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference, with Fist’s paper winning first place and Kakavelakis’ paper winning second place.

Their papers titled Improved Mean Flow Solution for Solid Rocket Motors by Fist and UTSI professor Dr. Joseph Majdalani, and Nusselt Number Correlation for Cyclonically-Cooled Liquid Rocket Engines by Kakavelakis and Majdalani, mark an unprecedented four-year winning streak for Majdalani’s students.

In the past four years, Majdalani’s team has competed with a total of seven papers in the Masters Division and placed first 2011 – 2013, second 2010, 2012, 2013, and third in 2010.

According to UTSI officials, the seven-out-of-seven award record is clearly representative of the remarkable performance of these graduate students and, arguably, the sheer originality of their research projects.

“The successes of our students and faculty speak very highly for the high quality of research and graduate education at the institute,” said Dr. Robert Moore, executive director of UTSI.

“I am particularly impressed with the continuing successes from Dr. Majdalani’s program which promotes name recognition for the institute at national and international levels.”

Papers by two UTSI students and Professor Joseph Majdalani won top honors in the recent Masters Division of the 64th AIAA Southeastern Regional Conference. From left are Dimitrios A. Kakavelakis III, whose paper won second; Dr. Majdalani, and Andrew Fist, whose paper won first place in the competition. — UTSI Photo

The 64th annual Southeastern Regional Student Conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics was held in Raleigh, N.C., and hosted by North Carolina State University and the Student Branch of AIAA in Raleigh-Durham.

A total of 170 student delegates from 16 southeastern universities competed this year, an all-time high in the history of Region II. Participating universities included Auburn, Embry Riddle Aeronautical, Florida Tech, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, North Carolina State University, Tuskegee, Alabama (Huntsville and Tuscaloosa), Central Florida, Memphis, Miami, UTSI and Vanderbilt.

Fist, a turbine engine test manager at AEDC, is pursuing his master of science degree in aerospace engineering. As the first-place winner, he will receive an AIAA-supported trip to participate in next year’s international student competition, which will be held in January as part of SciTech’14, in conjunction with the 52nd Aerospace Sciences Meeting in Maryland.

Fist, from Dayton, Ohio, holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton.

Kakavelakis, from Albuquerque, N.M., is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Engineering Science. He holds a B.S. Degree in Pure Mathematics from Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Ga.

Majdalani is a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering and holds the H.H. Arnold Chair of Excellence.