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Doctoral candidate in aerospace engineering earns AIAA honors

By Joe McAdory

Published: Jun 21, 2022 7:50:00 AM

Gaurav Sharma receives the Graduate Student of the Year award from Theresa Jehle, Greater Huntsville Section Chair, at the awards ceremony in Huntsville on May 22. Gaurav Sharma receives the Graduate Student of the Year award from Theresa Jehle, Greater Huntsville Section Chair, at the awards ceremony in Huntsville on May 22.

Gaurav Sharma, a doctoral candidate and Woltosz Fellow in aerospace engineering, was named 2022 Graduate Student of the Year by the Greater Huntsville Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

This award identifies the most outstanding graduate students in Alabama and Mississippi, especially those who go above and beyond in their technical accomplishments, active engineering research, service to the organization and active STEM community outreach. The Greater Huntsville Section extends over all of Alabama and the northern half of Mississippi.

“It was a real surprise and a feeling of gratitude when I found out,” said Sharma. “I am truly grateful to my advisor, Dr. Joseph Majdalani, for acknowledging my potential and providing me with a wonderful opportunity to join him and work with an amazing team of graduate students. I am equally honored to be part of the research program that supports America’s Space Plane and that my contributions to science will positively impact the future of aerospace engineering.”

Sharma was nominated “for going above and beyond in pursuit of academic excellence, service to aerospace engineering, and development of robust computational models for NASA’s swirl-dominated vortex engines,” according to the AIAA. He devotes his time to the computational modeling of wall-bounded cyclonic flows in liquid rocket engines.

 “I became emotional when I learned that Gaurav was selected as this year’s most outstanding graduate student,” said Majdalani, professor and Hugh and Loeda Francis Chair of Excellence in aerospace engineering. “I can assure you that everyone who has ever worked with Gaurav feels the same way. I am thankful to the anonymous reviewers in our Greater Huntsville Section who must have converged on this excellent choice, especially since 2022 was Gaurav’s last year of eligibility.” 

 At Auburn, Sharma has served as instructor, graduate research assistant and graduate teaching assistant for several courses — Advanced Engineering Analysis, Aeroacoustics, Perturbations, Aerodynamics II, Aerodynamics III, Aerospace Propulsion, Aerospace systems, Flight Dynamics, and Launch Vehicle Design. He earned a master’s in space engineering and rocketry from Birla Institute of Technology (BIT) in Mesra, India.

Previous recognitions include honorable mention in the 2018 Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Graduate Engineering Research Showcase, being named the 2016 Walt and Virginia Woltosz Fellow and earning the 2011 GATE Scholarship issued by the All-India Council for Technical Education.

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

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