Four USC Viterbi Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering student groups presented their AME-441 Senior Project at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region 6 student paper conference in San Luis Obispo, CA from April 6-7. Three groups placed in the undergraduate team competition, as follows:
2nd Place: Surface-Water-Air-Propulsion (SWAP)
Group members, advised by Professor Charles Radovich, included mechanical engineering majors Luke Stevens, Sierra Dean, and Joshua Ancheta, and aerospace major Darian Wood. Their design tested the addition of a small gearbox and transmission to increase the efficiency and thus, endurance, of air-to-water quadcopters used for underwater mapping and reconnaissance missions.
3rd Place (tied): Mechanics of Diving
Group members were advised by Research Associate Vyaas Gururajan, Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering Eva Kanso, and Research Assistant Professor Lionel Vincent. The group included mechanical engineering majors Philip Theonen, Matt Giles and Elliott Kramer. Their research focused on minimizing splash size when competitive divers enter the water and tested strategies to identify better entry techniques to help divers improve their performance.
3rd Place (tied): Flapping Fin
Group members, advised by Lecturer Bo Jin and Assistant Professor Mitul Luhar, included mechanical engineering majors Aarya Suryavanshi, Cole Pernitsky, Pooja Moolchandani and Clifford Lester. They presented a study on thrust produced by flapping fins using biomimicry, with the aim of helping make underwater drones easier to maneuver and less disruptive to marine environments.