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Aerospace engineering student among top researchers at regional conference

By Joe McAdory

Published: Apr 28, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Rudy Al Ahmar, third from left, was third place for his presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on April 4-5. Rudy Al Ahmar, third from left, was third place for his presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics on April 4-5.

Rudy Al Ahmar, a graduate student in aerospace engineering, was awarded third place for his presentation at the 73rd American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Southeastern Regional Student Conference held on April 4-5 and hosted by the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The conference featured more than 80 student delegates and competitors from 22 southeastern universities.

Entered into the conference’s master’s division, his paper presentation, “On the Kármán–Pohlhausen Momentum-Integral Approach: Improved Viscous Formulation for Flow Over a Cylinder with a Variable Pressure Gradient,” received superlative feedback from judges. Two of the three judges presiding over the oral competition gave Rudy “100 percent” in all categories while offering superlative comments such as “amazing presentation,” and “great visuals.”

“I was tremendously pleased to have my work recognized and awarded accordingly,” Al Ahmar said. “This paper extends the work of both Dr. Joe Majdalani and the late Dr. Lijun Xuan, who passed away in fall of 2020 and could not carry on this scientific breakthrough. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to work on such groundbreaking research and to ensure that Dr. Xuan’s name in the scientific community lives on.”

The study demonstrates how a hundred-year-old paradox in aerodynamics can be resolved while analyzing the flow past a cylinder, a canonical problem in aerodynamics that is used as a benchmark and taught in most fluid mechanics textbooks.

“Rudy is the 13th student from the Advanced Propulsion Research Lab to compete and bring home an award from the Southeastern Regional Student Conference,” said Majdalani. “The ability of our students to repeatedly rank at the conference speaks highly to the quality and originality of their projects.”

By receiving a prize in the master’s division, Al Ahmar preserved his team’s winning streak which, to this date, has entered the Southeastern Regional Student Conference with 13 titles, and returned with 13-out-of-13 best student presentation awards.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory, jem0040@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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