SHINE Students Soaring through Topics on Aerospace Week

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Ph.D. student Chris Ohh shedding light on Fluid Dynamics.

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Ph.D student Trystan Madison with SHINE Cohort.

Every Friday during the seven weeks of SHINE, the cohort focuses as a group on one area of engineering research: this past week featured Aerospace research conducted in the labs of Professors Geoff Spedding and Eva Kanso

Ph.D. students Chris Ohh and Trystan Madison treated the cohort to hands-on encounters in fluid dynamics to help the SHINE students understand the research in Professor Spedding's lab on the patterns left behind by submerged moving objects, such as whales and seals. In the lab next door, Professor Kanso's post-doctoral scholar, Dr. Lionel Vincent, demonstrated how that lab analyzes the oscillating pattern of vortices in water. 

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Calculations on the board of Prof. Kanso's lab.

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Water tank used for studying proxies of submerged objects.

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Dr. Vincent demonstrates to the cohort the oscillating pattern of vortices in water.

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Ph.D students Chris Ohh and Trystan Madison.

After modeling the flow patterns of cubes in Prof. Spedding's water tank, Chris and Trystan asked the students to design their own streamlined and bluffed body models with K'nex toys to confirm they had understood the key research concepts. Below is half the cohort showing the objects they created to test in the water tank, while the other half of the cohort was with Dr. Vincent in Prof. Kanso's lab, shown above as the students observed the water vortex patterns through their cell phone cameras. 

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SHINE students were challenged to design streamlined and bluffed objects to submerge in Prof. Spedding's water tank.

In addition, this week we checked in with the six SHINE students spending the summer in USC Viterbi Aerospace Labs to learn about their research experiences. In Professor Uranga's Lab, SHINE students are learning how to model small planes in NX, a 3D modeling software. They hope to build a table-size wind tunnel capable of modeling high altitude flight. With help from Professor Luhar's SHINE students, the two labs will discover a method to map air flow across small planes. In Professor Spedding's Lab, the Aero-SHINERS are creating new methods to test the flight mechanics of small planes. They are researching Air Force and NASA Flight tests to develop their own method and apply it to their own small flying vehicles.

All the SHINE students excel in their coursework, yet it is nonetheless challenging to apply those high school STEM concepts to actual research conditions (which is how SHINE makes STEM studies tangible and compelling). Rising senior Manaeha expressed the feelings of all the students in Aerospace when she said, "I feel privileged to be working in an Aerospace Lab as a high school student." It's true that most people doing hands-on work in these labs are graduate students, yet the dedication and intelligence of the SHINE students enables them to make valuable contributions to research this summer.  

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Yohanna Hanna (Ph.D. student mentor), SHINE students Luke and Jessica, Aerospace intern, Patrick Valadez (undergraduate intern)

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SHINE student Alex, Arturo Cajal (Ph.D. student mentor), Manaeha

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