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For the third year in a row, Professor Joe Majdalani’s teams at the University of Tennessee Space Institute have won best papers at the sixty-third American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Southeastern Regional Student Conference. The UTSI teams competed against more than 200 graduate and undergraduate students in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Timothy Barber, Professor Joe Majdalani, and Charles Haddad
Timothy Barber, Professor Joe Majdalani, and Charles Haddad

The first prize paper in the Masters Division was written by Timothy Barber and Professor Majdalani, Arnold Chair of Excellence and professor of mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering. The second prize was awarded to Charles Haddad and Majdalani. Majdalani and his students have won a total of five papers in the past three years in this division. All five papers have been supported by the National Science Foundation and UTSI.

Barber and Majdalani’s paper, “Bidirectional Helical Motion in Tapered Rocket Engines,” introduces a framework that can provide important physical insight into several applications, such as liquid rocket engines, and explain the motion of conically-shaped tornadoes and tropical cyclones. Barber, who is pursuing his master’s and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering, will receive a paid trip to participate in next year’s international student competition in Texas.

Haddad and Majdalani’s paper, “On the Sidewall Boundary Layer of Transverse Waves in Simulated Liquid Rocket Engines,” investigates the boundary layer development due to transverse waves in liquid rocket engines. Haddad is pursuing his master’s in aerospace engineering.

The papers will be submitted to scholarly journals as strongly suggested by the judging panel.