Departmental Awards

Eyre Associates Award

For Outstanding Achievement in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

The Eyre Associates Award recognizes an AME student who has demonstrated outstanding academic excellence throughout their undergraduate academic career. This award honors the Eyre Associates’ contributions over many years to the support and development of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.


2015 – Anton Schuetze-Coburn

John Laufer Memorial Prize

John Laufer founded the Aerospace part of the AME Dept. at USC in 1964 and was chairman of the Department for 19 years. He was an internationally known experimentalist in fluid mechanics and had an illustrious career at Cal Tech, NBS and JPL in addition to the many years spent at USC. He also was instrumental in developing the Senior Experimental Projects Laboratory, one of the most demanding courses in the AME curriculum. The John Laufer Memorial Prize was established in his honor to recognize the student(s) with the most outstanding project in the AME 441 Senior Experimental Projects Laboratory.


2015 – Min Maung, Brandon Uchimura, Kevin Sakumoto, and Cody Sato for their project, Improved Surface Marker Buoy for Scuba Divers. The citation notes “… their diligent approach from start to finish, which included several design iterations guided by experimental test results and numerical modeling efforts.”

2014 – Vivian Tsui, Stephanie Klimczak, and Anton Schuetze-Coburn with their project, Heated Tooling for Curing Composites, for their diligent approach and successful creation of a controlled heated tooling for curing composites. They fulfilled all requirements set by the McGill Composites Center (Dr. Nutt), and created a useful, modular framework adaptable to large scale composite fabrication.

2012 – Sarah Hester, Steven Leverette and William Murray for their project entitled: Thrust Augmentation of a Solid Rocket Motor by Means of Inert Gas Injection.

Bleeker Award

For Craftsmanship

Al Bleeker was an enthusiastic, dedicated supporter of undergraduate experimental studies in AME. As a friend, technician and teacher, Al counseled over two generations of laboratory students. This award for excellence and imagination in the design and construction of experiments during the senior year laboratory course is presented by the faculty, students and friends of Aerospace Engineering as a tribute to Al’s contribution.


2015 – Elia Zinetti, Yiteng (Sophie) Xu, Chan-Ye (Chris) Ohh, Amir Bagherkalantari with VAWT Performance Predictions Using a 2D Airfoil Database for their robust yet clean design of a Darrieus vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) for use in the AME wind tunnel.

2014 – Christoph Efstathiou, Awadi Rathugamage and Brendan Plecque for Drag Reduction with Hydrophilic Coatings. They are acknowledged not only for their design and careful construction of the apparatus, but for their countless hours spent restoring the Blue Water Channel.

2012 – James Paulino and Casper Wypych for their project entitled Performance Effects on a Two-Stroke Internal Combustion Engine When Altering the Cylinder Cap Geometry.

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Student Achievement Award


2015 – The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Student Achievement Award for 2015 has be won by two teams of AME 441 students:

Rayed Khan, Derek Nielsen, Chase Totoris, and Stefano Bauk with their Closed-loop Control for a Leading Edge Flap for their persistent data analysis efforts as well as their design and construction of a beautiful wing section, and

Chris Dougherty, Colin Hussey, and Ryan Miller with Novelty Flying Disc Launcher for their experimental efforts (rain or shine!), methodical mechanical design, and independence in carrying out their investigation.


Danny Buecker, Katherine Will, Jordan Thayer, Montgomerie (Chris) Steele for their Automated Pan/Tilt Optical Tracking System, for triumphing the dynamics of a large (4-person) team in creating a complex, robotic system; also for placing high expectations on themselves while learning/expanding their engineering skill set (computer programming and microcontrollers).

Rachel Glazer, Daniel Dubin and Shveta Vankatram for their project, Wind Energy: Design and Testing of Microturbines for their well designed (before construction!) wind turbine apparatus which was adaptable for testing 3 configurations (resourceful), and proved to be able to withstand harsh testing conditions (resonance).

Anjali Daniels, Angela Bullon, Kathryn Masci and Kathryn Fries for their Portable UV Water Decontamination System, demonstrating their creativeness in defining a project that had practical implications, which could be used and appreciated by all hikers (and tree huggers).


Nathan Pandian and Francis DyBuncio for their project entitled Moving Ground Plane Test Section for the AME Lab Wind Tunnel.

Daniel Kivlovitz and Stephen Lue for their project Performance Characteristics of Rigid Wing and Traditional Cloth Sails.

Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award

Recognizes exceptional work by an AME teaching assistant.


2015 – Harshavardhan Mylapilli

After the Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony, AME chairman Geoff Spedding congratulates Alan Tsang who received the AME Excellence in Research Award.

University Awards

University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Given to an exceptional teaching assistant selected from throughout the University.

AME Winners:

2015 – AME Ph.D. student, Bo Cheng Jin

Order of Areté

Recognizes graduate students demonstrating significant depth and scope of responsibility in a campus or community leadership role.

AME Winners:

2015 – AME graduate students Francois Cadieux and Harsha Mylapilli