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Students Win Presentation Competition

Two travel award winners of the 1st annual “Susan and Jimmy Wu Student Presentation Competition” were announced at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) on March 4th. Julie King won in the PhD category and received a $2,000 travel award and Stefen Lindorfer won in the Master’s category and received a $1,000 travel award.

Julie is from Mount Airy, North Carolina. Her presentation was entitled, “Metallic iron nanoparticles for biomedical applications”. Julie received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics from King College, Bristol, TN in 2012 and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Tennessee in 2015. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Tennessee Space Institute under the direction of Jackie Johnson.

Stefen was raised in Gütersloh, Germany, and moved to Plano, Texas, during high school. His presentation was entitled, “TALon Mach 4 Ludwieg Tube Design Advancements and Flow Quality Investigation through CFD”. Stefen earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in May 2014. He is currently a Graduate Research Assistant pursuing a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Tennessee Space Institute under the direction of John Schmisseur. Stefan’s research interests are high-speed CFD and applied aerodynamics. As part of his research he is working on the design of a Mach 4 Ludwieg Tube by means of CFD simulations. The main focus of this involves flow quality analyses and mitigation of the effects of poor diaphragm bursts.

The competition was made possible by a generous donation from one of UTSI’s graduate alumni who wishes to remain anonymous. The competition was open to all full- and part-time MS and PhD graduate students currently enrolled at UTSI. The objective behind starting the competition was to help students develop presentation skills while also learning about numerous fields of research. The competition was an open forum where graduate students presented their research in a competition-based format. The best presentations, as determined by a panel of judges, were awarded travel grants.

Eight graduate students participated in the competition. Each participant gave a 10 minute presentation followed by a 5 minute Q and A. The judges, Stan Powell, Pat Murphy and Mr. Scott Bartlett, also gave feedback to each participant on how their presentation went so the students could sharpen their skills to become better presenters.

The competition was named after 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 nearly fifty-five years of combined service to the UTSI and the aerospace community, they both contributed significant academic, scientific and community accomplishments.