Students Win Big at AIAA Regional Conference

Florida Tech students produced six top three finishes at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Southeastern Region Student Conference, including a clean sweep of the Freshman/Sophomore Open Topic Category.

The conference April 4-5 at Georgia Tech was one of six held across the country in March and April as AIAA resumed in-person gatherings for the first time since COVID. In addition to Florida, the region schools in includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We are thrilled to return to in-person AIAA Regional Student Conferences. These events are key to giving students practical experience presenting their research findings and receiving valuable feedback from professionals in the aerospace community,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “We look forward to seeing how these students shape the future of aerospace.”

The student conferences, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, are a way for students to present their research and be judged on technical content and presentation skills by AIAA members working in the aerospace industry. More than 170 papers were presented by university and high school students across all six regions, with over 500 students and professionals in attendance.

Here are the Florida Tech winners:

Team Category

2nd place: “Solid Propellant Arc Combustion for Small Satellite Propulsion,” Mallory RoyAshley RivkinSamuel LovelaceJessica CutlerNathan FischerVictor RobletoSean GuntherEmily Milne, Abram Murphy

3rd place: “Racing Drones for STEM Education,” Mackenzie WilesBryce Fuson, Michelle Engelke

Outstanding Branch Activity Category

2nd place: “Community Outreach in STEM at Florida Tech” (no individual names)

Freshman/Sophomore Open Topic Category

1st place: “The Future of Aviation in Zero Carbon Emissions Aircraft,” Shannon Tracy

2nd place: “Lunar Mining of Tritium,” Beck Kerridge, Colin Zelasko

3rd place: “Spacecraft Attitude Control Methods,” Jesus Delgado

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