Aerospace engineering students earn Vertical Flight Society scholarships

Published: Aug 1, 2022 8:00 AM

By Joe McAdory

Two graduate students in aerospace engineering, Lokesh Silwal and Abbishek Gururaj, were awarded scholarships by the Redstone Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS).

Silwal, a fifth-year doctoral student and past president of Auburn’s VFS student chapter, focuses his research on the experimental investigation of aerodynamic characteristics of rotor systems. He was awarded a $3,000 grant by the VFS chapter.

Gururaj, a fourth-year doctoral student and currently the vice president of Auburn’s VFS student chapter, was awarded a $2,000 grant. His research interests are in the field of experimental fluid mechanics and aerodynamics.

“This is a great achievement and recognition for Lokesh and Abbishek,” said Vrishank Raghav, assistant professor in aerospace engineering and VFS student chapter advisor. “Not only have they contributed significantly to the field of vertical flight, but they have also given back to the vertical flight community by serving in the local chapter.” 

Gururaj and Silwal, both of whom are also active within Auburn’s Applied Fluids Research Group, credit Auburn Engineering for developing them into the engineers and researchers they are today.

“Auburn’s Graduate Engineering Research Showcase and Graduate Student Research Symposium provided me with a lot of exposure to presenting my research to people outside the fluid dynamics domain,” said Gururaj. “These abilities I have been learning at Auburn are helping me to properly communicate my research to the distinguished researchers in the field of fluid dynamics in these kinds of conferences. Furthermore, the personnel and faculty in various labs and departments are very welcoming and have helped me without hesitation to clarify my doubts or give suggestions.”

Silwal said the Auburn Engineering faculty “has one of the most diverse streams of expertise.”

“I have had plenty of opportunities to consult and work with faculties from different departments, which has helped me broaden my horizon,” he said. “Auburn Engineering has also provided me with ample opportunities to connect with professionals and researchers across the world. Interacting with them has helped me mature as a researcher and gain new perspectives on my research.”

Both students will be awarded and recognized by the Redstone VFS chapter at a student chapter meeting this fall.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Abbishek Gururaj and Lokesh Silwal

Abbishek Gururaj and Lokesh Silwal

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