Aerospace engineering students, alumnus honored by aeronautics institute

By Cassie Montgomery

Published: Jul 27, 2020 11:40:00 AM

Anna Grace Miller, Mark Miller and Timothy Marquardt were recently honored by the Huntsville Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Anna Grace Miller, Mark Miller and Timothy Marquardt were recently honored by the Huntsville Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Two students from the Auburn University Department of Aerospace Engineering and an alumnus of the department have been recognized by the Huntsville Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Timothy Marquardt received the Graduate Student of the Year award; Anna Grace Miller received the Undergraduate Student of the Year award; and aerospace engineering alumnus Mark Miller received the organization’s Toftoy Award.

Doctoral candidate Timothy Marquardt was nominated for the Graduate Student of the Year award for his research into swirl-enhanced hybrid rocket combustion physics, for his analysis of both hybrid and nuclear thermal rocket propulsion engines for NASA and for outstanding academic performance. He is a member of the Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory at Auburn University and is advised by its director, Joe Majdalani, the Hugh and Loeda Francis Chair of Excellence in the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

Marquardt’s doctoral research focuses on developing mathematical models to describe the internal flow fields and fuel burning rates of hybrid rockets with swirling oxidizer injection. After defending his doctoral work, he plans to move to Huntsville where he has accepted a job at Dynetics as a propulsion analyst for the next lunar lander.

“I am honored to be chosen as this year’s recipient and it is gratifying for my work to be recognized. Getting a Ph.D. in this field is a long, tiring process so it’s really nice to receive some validation along the way,” Marquardt said. “This is the fourth year in a row that someone from our research lab has won, which I think is an incredible reflection of the quality of the graduate students in the aerospace engineering department here at Auburn.” 

Undergraduate honoree Anna Grace Miller is a 2020 graduate of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. In her time as an Auburn Engineering student, Miller served as vice president of Sigma Gamma Tau Aerospace Engineering Honor Society, as a Cupola Engineering Ambassador and as a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, which represents the top 10% of Auburn students. She was also selected to be the College of Engineering Graduation Marshal at the 2020 spring commencement ceremony, rescheduled to August due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Miller gained industry experience through summer internships with NASA and Dynetics focusing on structural dynamics testing and unmanned systems and aerodynamics, respectively. She recently joined Dynetics as a structural analysis engineer and will be working on the human landing system contract under NASA’s Artemis Program.  

“After four wonderful and challenging years in Auburn University’s aerospace engineering program, it is an honor to receive the AIAA Greater Huntsville Section’s Undergraduate Student of the Year Award,” she said. “I am humbled and thrilled to be recognized for the qualities this award represents.”

The Holger Toftoy Award is presented in recognition of outstanding technical management in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. The 2020 recipient of this award is Mark Miller, a two-time Auburn aerospace engineering graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1984 and a master’s degree in 1985. He is vice president and division manager of the missile and aviation systems division at Dynetics, a division he originally established at the firm. The Department of Aerospace Engineering named Miller as its 2012 Outstanding Alumnus. He presently serves on the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council and on the department’s advisory board.

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery, cmontgomery@auburn.edu, 334.844.3668

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