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Grad students and faculty earn state funding to support aerospace research


photo of U.S. Air Force plane by Munnaf Joarder
U.S. Air National Guard photo by Munnaf Joarder
Several graduate students and faculty from The Ohio State University College of Engineering have earned 2020 Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) fellowship awards to support their research endeavors.

The program—officially known as the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)/Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute (DAGSI) Ohio Student-Faculty Research Fellowship—is funded primarily through DAGSI by the Ohio Board of Regents. It aims to support graduate science and engineering students and faculty who conduct research in areas targeted by the AFRL at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Five projects from the College of Engineering will receive funding.

Materials and Manufacturing

photo of Joseph McGlone Ohio State
Electrical and computer engineering doctoral student Joseph McGlone and Professor Steven Ringel were selected for their proposal, “Basic Studies of Defects, Carrier Transport, and MBE Growth of Beta Gallium Oxide Materials and Devices.” In conjunction with the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at AFRL, their project will focus on the advancement of a new semiconductor material known as ultra-wide bandgap gallium oxide. Gallium oxide is considered to be one of the most promising new electronic materials since it has the potential to enable a step-change improvement of at least two critical technologies: high voltage power electronics for future mobility and aerospace applications: and high frequency transistors for future advanced communication systems.

photo of Patricia Loughney Ohio State
Materials science and engineering PhD student Patricia Loughney and Assistant Professor Vicky Doan-Nguyen will collaborate on the project, “Identification of Structure-Processing-Property Relationships for Designing New Functional Polymer-Derived Ceramics.” Their goal is to establish foundational knowledge for understanding the structure-property relations of functional polymer-derived ceramics. Using their expertise in materials synthesis as well as advanced structural characterization in synchrotron X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy, they will explore new colloidal chemistries and engineer controlled interfaces between nanostructured fillers with ceramic matrix. These new nanocomposites possess desirable mechanical properties and corrosion resistance, which are useful for aerospace applications.

Nicole Renninger Ohio State
For their project, “Gene Expression in Fungi Associated with Materials Degradation in Aircraft and Fuel Systems,” environmental engineering graduate student Nicole Renninger and Assistant Professor Karen Dannemiller aim to identify fungal genes associated with polymer degradation on aircraft under different relative humidity conditions. This information can inform solutions for design and preventive maintenance protocols to promote system integrity and increase lifespan. Material degradation on aircraft due to microbes is estimated to cost the Air Force more than $1 billion annually.

photo of Al Nashar
Mechanical engineering graduate student Mohamad Al Nashar and Assistant Professor Alok Sutradhar aim to improve the performance of integrated electromagnetic-mechanical designs in their project, “Topology Optimization of Coupled Mechanical and Electromagnetic Designs.” The design proposed by the project will lead to new performance and integration opportunities, including systems that are lighter, more compact and affordable. The focus of the work is topology-optimized electromagnetic designs, and creating convolutional neural network-based surrogate models for electromagnetic field distribution.


photo of Phillip Van Hooser
Van Hooser
Electrical and computer engineering graduate student Phillip Van Hooser and Research Scientist Dale Smith of the Electroscience Laboratory will collaborate on the project, “Reconfigurable Radio Frequency (RF) Technology for Adaptable Phased-Arrays and Cognitive Electronic Warfare (EW) Applications.” Their goal is to develop a millimeter wave 5G frequency synthesizer that can be dynamically reconfigured to meet multiple needs in radio frequency (RF) systems. Reconfigurable RF technology is in high demand as it reduces the number of application-specific components needed to construct RF systems. The ability to use a single integrated transceiver for multiple aerospace and defense applications such as communications, radar, and electronic warfare drives down the cost, size, and power consumption of these systems.

To learn more about the fellowship program or to view the full list of award recipients, visit the DAGSI website.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |