Graduate student in aerospace engineering wins research poster competition

Published: Dec 17, 2021 8:10 AM

By Joe McAdory

Abbishek Gururaj, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, was recently recognized as one of the premier student researchers in fluid dynamics. Gururaj, a member of the Auburn University Vertical Flight Society and the Auburn University Applied Fluids Research Group, won first place in the student poster competition at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics annual conference, Nov. 21-23 in Phoenix.

Gururaj’s project, a novel methodology known as rotating three-dimensional velocimetry (R3DV), revealed the methodology’s feasibility by comparing and corroborating results from past studies. The project was co-authored by Vrishank Raghav, assistant professor in aerospace engineering, Brian Thurow, aerospace engineering department chair, Mahyar Moaven, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, and Sarah Morris, postdoctoral fellow in aerospace engineering.

“With the feasibility of R3DV proven, we envision this methodology can be used in the future on actual vehicles that employ rotating wings, such as rotorcraft, to improve performance,” said Gururaj.

But Guraraj’s passion to study fluid dynamics doesn’t necessarily stem from R3DV. Instead, it’s the variety of means in which it plays an important role in our lives.

“Fluids are responsible for keeping us alive,” he said. “However, it is also these fluids that are responsible for the transmission of diseases that cause global pandemics. Fluid dynamic principles dictate the movement of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Those same principles dictate the movement of large container ships on the seas, the flight of large vehicles in the air and space travel. These diverse applications of fluid dynamics fascinate me.”

Guraraj, whose career ambition is to establish a lab to conduct state-of-the-art research in fluid dynamics as an academician, said Auburn University and the Ginn College of Engineering has played a large role in developing his skills and setting him on the right career path.

“As a researcher, one of the main attributes you need is to concisely share your work and build contacts with other researchers,” he said. “The Graduate Engineering Research Showcase and the Auburn Graduate Student Research Symposium provided me with a lot of exposure on how to present my research to people outside of the fluid dynamics domain. Also, the graduate student seminar series in the Department of Aerospace Engineering helped develop my professional skills.

“Lessons learned at Auburn are helping me to properly communicate my research to distinguished professors in the field of fluid dynamics at large conferences.”

Raghav is excited to watch students like Gururaj excel at experiential learning and research opportunities.

“Research projects such as these provide graduate students with the real-world experience of addressing high-impact scientific questions that are relevant to societal needs,” he said. “Such projects enable the student to apply knowledge from the classroom to address a real-world problem that, for example, the army is interested in. In addition to conducting cutting-edge research, students also get the opportunity to present their research at such prestigious conferences giving them the exposure to disseminate their work at the highest level.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Abbishek Gururaj, center, took first place out of an estimated 2,000 research entries.

Abbishek Gururaj, center, took first place out of an estimated 2,000 research entries.

Recent Headlines