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3rd Annual Wu Student Presentation Competition

The University of Tennessee Space Institute held its 3rd Annual “Wu Student Presentation Competition,” on March 28, 2018.  Twelve students participated with each allotted a 10-minute time slot, followed by a Q & A session.  The 1st place winner received a $2,000 travel grant, the 2nd place winner received a $1,000 travel grant.  The travel grants are for students to gain additional experience and to sharpen presentation skills through attending a conference of their choice.

First place went to Matthew Schwartz from Nashville, TN who is currently working on a MS in Aerospace Engineering.  His presentation was entitled, “A Numerical Study on Thermochemical Effects of Hypersonic Spheres using US3D”.  Second place went to Stefen Lindorfer from Texas, previously raised in Germany.  He is currently working on a PhD in Aerospace Engineering.  His presentation was entitled, “Boundary-Layer Thickness Effects on a cylinder-Generated Shock-Wave-Turbulent Boundary-Layer Interaction”.  John Schmisseur is the advisor to both students.

This competition, named for Drs. Susan and Jimmy Wu who were the first husband and wife team hired as faculty members of the Space Institute in 1965. During their more than fifty-five years of combined service to UTSI and the aerospace community, their contributions were significant in areas of academia, scientific research and community outreach.

A generous donation from a UTSI graduate alumni, wishing to remain anonymous, made this competition possible. The objective for starting the competition was to help students develop presentation skills while learning about various fields of research. Competition, open to all currently enrolled UTSI full-time and part-time MS and PhD students, was an open forum where graduate students presented their research in a competition-based format.

The winning presentations were determined by a panel of outside judges.  This year’s judges were, James Masters, Alan Hale, Kimberly Eck, and Jarvis Caffery.

Additionally, seven Graduate Research Assistants displayed departmental posters highlighting their research during the competition.  Previous winners of the Wu Competition gave presentations about the conferences they attended.

Group Photo of winners
1st place winner
2nd place winner