Boeing recognizes AE graduate student in international competition
According to the company, this year's competition attracted a record number of qualified entries from around the world, including Australia, India, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States.
Boeing's sponsorship is one of its many efforts aimed at encouraging students to pursue careers in aerospace-related engineering fields. The worldwide competition, now in its third year, is open to any full- or part-time engineering student pursuing a recognized degree. The winning student's work must be judged as likely to impact the future of aerospace engineering in areas such as new or enhanced capabilities, systems, processes or tools; new levels of performance; and improved life cycle costs.
Sharma received an honorable mention for his project involving the experimental investigation of compressible hypersonic flow using the recently constructed Hypervelocity Expansion Tube (HET) facility. He reports that he was heavily involved in the installation of the tube itself, the test section, data acquisition system, vacuum pump, gas lines and pressure instrumentation.
"I was responsible for the design of a novel primary diaphragm cutting mechanism and the test section sting and model mounts. Specifically, the long-term goal of my Ph.D. is to examine the high-temperature effects that are a defining hallmark of hypersonic flow. Thermochemical processes such as dissociation and vibrational excitation can have a substantial impact upon hypersonic aerodynamics. Towards investigating these high-temperature effects, we have selected a Mach reflection as a canonical flowfield and have used schlieren visualization, pitot pressure and wavespeed measurements and imaging spectroscopy to characterize the flowfield," Sharma said.
Other University of Illinois students doing well in the competition were Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering graduate student Juan Mejia and Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student Anirban Basu. Mejia took second place; Basu also received an honorable mention.
Said Mejia, "My work under the direction of Prof. Duasn Stipanovic mainly focuses on the application and theoretical developments of model predictive control techniques for distributed control and coordination of autonomous vehicles (that is, mobile robots, airplanes and quad-rotor helicopters). Model predictive control (also known as the receding time horizon control) is an optimization based optimal control approach often used for stabilizing linear and nonlinear dynamic systems. Such technique is also relevant to the control of complex systems due to its ability to achieve desired system performance while at the same time being able to handle system constraints.
"The main goal of my research work supported by the Boeing company is the control and coordination of multiple autonomous vehicles with nonlinear dynamics performing multiple tasks such as pursuing desired targets and trajectory tracking or path following, while at the same time satisfying vehicle safety conditions by guaranteeing that there will be no collisions between the vehicles or with static objects. In this framework, the use of the receding horizon control as a tool for achieving desires objectives subject to constraints becomes advantageous in terms of its capability for adaptation to handle new and unexpected events such as potential conflicts with appearing vehicles and objects as well as due to a change of strategies depending on new goals."
Under the guidance of College of Engineering Dean Ilesanmi Adesida, a professor in ECE, Basu’s research project is on advanced design and fabrication techniques of gallium nitride-based high performance transistors for high-power, high-temperature, and harsh environment applications. His research findings are expected to impact the future technologies of low noise amplifiers used in aviation, communication and military applications.