AAS announces 13th Von Braun Symposium student poster winners

Ameican Astronautical Society

A total of 30 students participated in a poster competition open to university students everywhere at the 13th Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium held online Oct. 26-28 in collaboration with The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System.

In the contest, students present 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.

This is the third year that the poster competition has been open to students from any university, says Dave Cook, director of undergraduate research for UAH's Office of Academic Affairs. As a result, we had about 50 students apply, not only from UAH but also from other national and international universities. We were really excited to have this opportunity for our undergraduate and graduate students to compete with students from other schools from across the country and world.

Students continue to raise the bar, not only regarding the quality of their research, but also how they present it, Cook says.

Because the symposium was held virtually, students presented their research via a narrated electronic poster submitted online. The virtual posters were then reviewed by a team of judges made up of members from the American Astronautical Society (AAS). Students who participated in the poster session were able to attend the virtual symposium for free, so it was a valuable opportunity for them to learn and interact with professionals.

Once again, AAS offered the opportunity for one of the poster competition winners to present research at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Dubai, UAE, that's set for Oct. 25-29, 2021. The poster competition winners can apply to the IAC, and of those selected, AAS will choose one student to receive registration, airfare and lodging for the conference.

For the first time this year, a People's Choice award was recognized. The AAS will sponsor the winner of this award to attend any AAS symposium or conference in 2021.

The traditional poster contest was judged by a panel of subject matter experts. The People's Choice judging was done by conference attendees.

The Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium Student Poster Session is an amazing chance for graduate and undergraduate students to compete for a chance to attend the IAC, the world's largest gathering of aerospace-related experts, and present their research, Cook says. We thank the AAS for continuing to support this opportunity, and I'd also like to thank the UAH faculty and research staff who work with our students and encourage them to participate in events like this.

2020 Von Braun Symposium Student Poster Winners

Traditional Poster Contest

Graduate Level – Engineering

First – Nicholas Morris, UAH, Passive Zero Boil Off Storage of Liquid Hydrogen Applied to The Mars Transfer Vehicle

Second – Emily Wood, UAH, Minimally Intrusive Power Generation Systems for Use in Transport Vehicles with Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engines

Undergraduate Level – Engineering

First – Jaiden Stark, UAH, Development of Active and Passive Approaches for Stabilizing Weather Balloon Payloads to Improve High-altitude Video Collection

Second – Emma Bernard, University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities, Vibrissae Inspired Mechanical Obstacle Avoidance Sensor for the Venus Exploration Rover AREE

Graduate Level – Physical and Liberal Sciences

First – Jacob Holley, California University of Science and Medicine, Spaceflight induced gene expression changes in murine brain tissue after 35-days on the International Space Station

Second – Caily Schwartz, UAH, Developing a Customized Composite Drought Index for Pakistan

Undergraduate Level – Physical and Liberal Sciences

First – Benjamin Alva, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Bioreactor Development for CO2-Based In-Situ Resource Utilization Manufacturing

Second – Niki Gooya, University of Maryland, College Park, E. coli biofilm formation and growth on porous and nonporous aluminum surfaces on the International Space Station (ISS)

People's Choice Poster Contest

Roberto Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Loxodon-1: Development of the First Liquid Rocket Engine in Puerto Rico



Dave Cook