1. Honors and awards
Congratulations to our 2014 department award winners: The Wings Award "for a support staff member in Aeronautics and Astronautics for excellence," presented to administrative assistant Quentin Alexander; the Spirit of XVI award "to recognize sustained excellence by a member of the staff, or a team of staff members in Aeronautics and Astronautics whose work, commitment, and enthusiasm contribute significantly to the achievement of the mission of the department," presented to department space manager Anthony Zolnik; the Vickie Kerrebrock Award "to recognize students, staff, faculty, or others ... who have made significant contributions to building a sense of community in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics," presented to grad student Patrick Blonigan.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers elected Professor Zoltan Spakovszky a Fellow of that organization. His ASME nomination reads, "This nomination for Dr. Zoltan Spakovszky recognizes his achievements in two different venues. One is sustained and outstanding research contributions on unsteady flow and aeromechanical vibrations in turbomachinery and gas turbine engines, including first–of-a-kind descriptions of instabilities in axial and centrifugal compressors, rotor whirl, and acoustics of novel aircraft. A second is excellence in engineering education, on both undergraduate (thermodynamics and propulsion) and graduate (internal flow in fluid machinery) levels. His classes are marked by strong interaction that promotes deep learning to enable students to apply, in new and innovative fashions, the concepts that are taught."
Professor Raul Radovitzky will receive an MIT award recognizing his work as a freshman faculty advisor. Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Julie Norman wrote, "The nominations were very thoughtful and acknowledged (his) importance and impact as an advisor."
Professor Larry Young tells us that "Once again the MIT students achieved high recognition at the ASA Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop in Galveston. Rachel Ellman (HST Bioastro) won one of the two Runner-Up Awards for Best Poster: 'Evaluation of the Hindlimb Unloading Model in Mice as an Analog for Spaceflight Effects on the Musculoskeletal System.' Jordan Spatz (HST Bioastro) won the other Runner-Up Award for the poster 'RNASeq Analysis of Gene Expression in Murine Hind Limb Unloading Disuse Induced Bone Loss.' The overall student winner was Kara Beaton of Johns Hopkins, a Course 16 alumn, supervised by Mark Shelhamer, who received his PhD in AeroAstro at the Man Vehicle Lab."
AeroAstro graduate student Tam Nguyen has been selected for an NSF fellowship.
Professor QiQi Wang is one of 42 scientists and engineers selected this year by the Young Investigator Program sponsored by the Air Force Office of Science. The award will support his research on optimization and control of chaotic multidisciplinary simulations. "This research can make an impact on many applications including designing flexible structures, high-altitude long-endurance UAVs, and supersonic vehicles," QiQi says.
The 2014 MIT Sloan Women in Management Conference added a challenge this year: a chance for MIT women entrepreneurs to pitch their startups for a $1,000 prize. One of the two prizewinners (a tie was declared) was Accion systems, which is developing propulsion systems for small satellites. Accion was pitched by CEO and president Natalya Brikner, an AeroAstro PhD student working under Professor Paulo Lozano in the Space Propulsion Lab.
Congratulations to winners of GA^3's 2014 PhD Research Competition: First Prize ($500)
- Allie Anderson, runners-up ($250 each) - Krish Kotru and Chelsea He. The competition is part of the GA^3 Technical Communications Seminar series highlighting the best AeroAstro graduate student research while encouraging students to hone their public speaking skills.
AIAA has announced its 2014 teaching and advising awards. Honorees are: James Wiken, TA Award; Professor Hamsa Balakrishnan, Undergraduate Advising Award; Professor Ed Greitzer, Undergraduate Teaching Award.