Two aerospace engineering seniors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics are recipients of 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships. The fellowships will allow the two students, Ravi Lumba and Andrew McCaslin, to pursue graduate studies in the field of aeronautical/aerospace engineering.

Ravi Lumba
Ravi Lumba is investigating the stability and performance of extremely flexible composite helicopter blades with applications for both UAVs and full size helicopters.

Ravi Lumba has been involved with a manned Mars mission research group, led by Professor Emeritus Hans Mark, as the trajectories/EDL team lead and has worked with Professor Jayant Sirohi to investigate airfoil models and rotor blades as an undergraduate research assistant. Because of the latter experience, Lumba has decided he wants to research flexible rotor blades and active outboard pitch control in graduate school. 

Andrew McCaslin
Andrew McCaslin's work in aerothermodynamics led him to develop his proposal to study hydrogen as a carbon neutral fuel additive in natural gas stationary gas turbines.

Andrew McCaslin joined the Flowfield Imaging Laboratory research group under Professor Noel Clemens his sophomore year and has increasingly taken on more responsibilities in the group since. He worked to have his research showcased in the Texas Student Research Showdown, a research video and presentation competition for UT undergraduate students. His work in aerothermodynamics led him to develop his proposal to study hydrogen as a carbon neutral fuel additive in natural gas stationary gas turbines.

The NSF Graduate Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are pursuing research-based master's degrees and doctorates at accredited institutions in the U.S. In 2017, NSF received over 13,000 applications and made 2,000 award offers.

These fellowships will provide Lumba and McCaslin with a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, a $12,000 allowance for tuition and other fees, opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate studies.