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Student Receives AIAA Special Award

Michel Akiki, a PhD student at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI), was presented with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Tennessee Section Special Award at the annual award luncheon held on May 29, 2013, at the Arnold Lakeside Center.  Akiki received the award for his outstanding research, mentorship, and support in the field of high speed chemical propulsion, particularly in global rocket stability analysis.  Joseph Majdalani, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and advisor to Akiki, stated “Michel has been instrumental in the recruitment of several highly competitive graduate students and in promoting group participation at AIAA conferences.  Moreover, his PhD research has led to a major breakthrough in rocket stability analysis.”  In addition to his responsibilities as a student at UTSI, Akiki served in a number of leadership positions that include:  President of the Student Government Association, Chair of the AIAA student section, and Resident Assistant.  He is scheduled to graduate this summer.  Akiki is pictured above, at left, with his advisor, Joseph Majdalani.