TULLAHOMA, TN – The University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) held the 4th Annual Wu Student Presentation Competition on Friday, March 29, 2019.  There were ten presenters, all MS or Ph.D. students attending UTSI.  Each student had 15 minutes to present, which included taking questions from judges or the audience.  The 1st place winner received a $2,000 travel grant and the 2nd place winner received a $1,000 travel grant.  These grants are for the winners to gain more experience by presenting their work and sharpen their presentation skills by attending a conference of their choice.  The judges this year were, Dr. Matthew Mench; Department head of the Mechanical, Aerospace, Biomedical Engineering Department (MABE) at UT, Dr. Libby Barker; Assistant Professor in the MABE department at UT, and Dr. Kristin Rice, Aerospace Engineer at Air Force Research Laboratory at AEDC.

This year, first place went to Justin Jones, an MS student in Mechanical Engineering; advisor Dr. Trevor Moeller.  His presentation was titled, “Estimating Onset Voltage for High and Low Aspect Ratio Electrospray Emitters.”  Second place went to Autumn Douthitt, also a MS student in Engineering Sciences and her advisor is Dr. John Schmisseur. Her presentation was titled, “Investigation of Unsteady Pressure Loads Generated by Swept Shock-wave/Boundary-Layer interactions using Unsteady Pressure-sensitive Paint.”

The competition was named for Drs. Jimmy and Susan Wu who were the first husband and wife duo hired as faculty members at the Space Institute in 1965.  In their more than fifty-five years of combined service to UTSI, they have made huge impacts on the aerospace community as well as scientific research, academia, and community outreach.  Also, this competition is made possible by a generous donation from a UTSI Alumni, who wishes to remain anonymous.


L to R – Dr. Libby Barker, Dr. Kristin Rice, Justin Jones, Autumn Douthitt, and WSPC committee members Dr. Ed Kraft, and Dr. Phil Kreth.

Photo Taken by Laura Horton.