Von Braun Memorial Symposium sees record number of student poster entries

Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium winners

Jim Kirkpatrick, executive director of the American Astronautical Society, left, with poster winners Nathanial Long, Jerry Sweafford, Anna Parker Strickland, Matthew Rodencal and Jeanné le Roux.

Dave Cook | UAH

A record number of students from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) entered the student poster competition at the seventh Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium held on the campus Oct. 27-29.

A total of 43 students representing every college at UAH presented research projects relevant to the aerospace industry, such as atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, aerospace systems engineering and design, astrophysics, space weather, optics, economics, business, policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, STEM outreach initiatives, and related areas.

Student Sarthak Dasadia

Student Sarthak Dasadia explains his research to Donald James, NASA's associate administrator for education.

Dave Cook | UAH

The annual symposium is sponsored by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) and organized collaboratively by UAH, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the Huntsville National Space Club.

During the student poster competition, UAH graduate and undergraduate students presented their research to AAS members and guest judges and competed for prizes.

"With most of the symposium being hosted on our campus, the poster competition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the capabilities of UAH's undergraduate and graduate students," says Dave Cook, coordinator of student research programs for UAH's Office of Academic Affairs. Cook notes that the competition has grown tremendously from 12 entries the first year it was held.

Students realize the fantastic opportunity they have to network with AAS members during this event and really step up to the challenge. I think Dr. von Braun would be very proud to see the level of student involvement and the quality of research in which they're involved.

Dave Cook

Coordinator of student research programs

"It's really encouraging that student interest in the poster competition continues to grow from year to year, and the quality of the posters gets better and better as well," he says. "Students realize the fantastic opportunity they have to network with AAS members during this event and really step up to the challenge. I think Dr. von Braun would be very proud to see the level of student involvement and the quality of research in which they're involved.

"The theme of this year's symposium, 'Moving Forward in Exploration,' is an important one and highlights the university's unique position in the space industry," Cook says. "The conference is attended by top aerospace professionals representing the private sector, government and academia, and the proceedings feature several notable speakers and panelists."

Honored symposium speakers this year included NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency.

Student poster contest winners were:

Category 1: Physical & Liberal Sciences

Atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, astrophysics, space weather, optics, economics, business, policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, STEM outreach initiatives

Graduate

  • First place: Emily Layden, "Detecting Corrosion Utilizing a Passive RFID Tag"; College of Science
  • Second place: Eric Burns, "Do Swift BAT and Fermi GBM see the same Short Gamma-ray Bursts?"; College of Science

Undergraduate:

  • First place: Jeanné le Roux, "Demonstration of ISS-Dataset for Image Fusion with New Landsat Imagery"; College of Science
  • Second place: Christopher Phillips, "Dust Radiative Forcing: Indirect Impact of Drought and Land Use Change on Diurnal Temperature Range in Arid Regions"; College of Science
Student Matt Rodencal

Student Matt Rodencal, left, fields questions from members of the American Astronautical Society during the reception and poster competition.

Dave Cook | UAH

Category 2: Engineering

Aerospace systems engineering and design, propulsion

Graduate

  • First place: Matthew Rodencal, "Design and Implementation of a Tracking System for the Calibration Flight of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory"; College of Engineering
  • Second place: Jerry Sweafford, "Dynamic Simulation of Aerial Trolley Alternative to the Mighty Eagle"; College of Engineering

Undergraduate

  • First place: Anna Parker Strickland, "Cognitively Tailored Interfaces for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles"; College of Engineering
  • Second place: Nathanial Long, "The One Month Project as a Training Tool of the Space Hardware Club"; College of Engineering

Contact

Dave Cook
256.824.5705
dave.cook@uah.edu

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