Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE – The contents of Georges Henri Akiki’s award-winning paper introduces a framework that could help with modeling rocket engines, hurricanes, and twisters.

Akiki, from the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI), won first place in the Masters Division at the 2011 Southeastern Regional Student Conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

More than two hundred delegates from thirteen universities in the Southeastern Region attended the conference, held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 4–5.

Akiki’s paper, “New Framework for Modeling the Bidirectional Vortex Engine Flowfield with Arbitrary Injection,” was coauthored by his advisor, Joseph Majdalani. The paper introduces a groundbreaking framework for modeling cyclone-like motions with arbitrary injection patterns inside a simulated, swirl-dominated, vortex rocket engine. Despite its importance to the modeling of trapped vortex engines, the same work may be extended to meteorological and industrial applications such as the modeling of hurricanes, twisters, cyclone furnaces that feed coal in a spiral manner into a combustion chamber, and centrifugal flow separators, which separates water from particles.

The award was presented by George F. Sowers, vice president of business development for United Launch Alliance, and Alan Lowrey, AIAA Southeastern regional director.

Akiki is from Kesrouan, Lebanon, and received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Notre Dame University, Louaize. He joined UTSI in 2009 where he is pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.