Students


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GAVIN ANANDA
PhD Candidate/Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Aerospace Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
anandak1@illinois.edu

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering (2013-present)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2010-2012)

Gavin Ananda is currently a Ph.D Candidate at UIUC in the field of applied aerodynamics. For the SUMR project, his research focus is in the aerodynamic design and analysis of the SUMR wind turbine blades. In addition, Gavin has designed wind tunnel apparatus to enable wind tunnel testing of coned wind turbines at the UIUC subsonic wind tunnel. His other research work/interests include flight simulation and modeling, airfoil/propeller design, wind tunnel testing (airfoil, propellers, wings, wind turbine blades), and scaled-aircraft flight testing.


vanessa

VANESSA AWATE
Research Assistant
Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia
vga2na@virginia.edu

  • University of Virginia, B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2014-Present)

Vanessa’s current research is on the hinging and morphing mechanism of the SUMR wind turbine.


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SURAJ BANSAL
Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Aerospace Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
sbansal5@illinois.edu

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2014 – Present)
  • National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India, B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering (2010 – 2014)

Suraj Bansal is currently focused on development of a computational tool to facilitate the aerodynamic design and analysis of SUMR rotors. He is also running CFD simulations to obtain high-fidelity aerodynamic data for the flatback airfoils, which will be used to design the rotor blades. Additionally, Suraj has assisted in conducting subscale wind tunnel tests for the coned wind turbines at the UIUC subsonic open-return wind tunnel. He has previously worked on projects involving computational fluid dynamics (CFD), motorsport aerodynamics, and wind tunnel testing with applications to airfoils and wind turbine rotors.


 ALEJANDRA S. ESCALERA MENDOZA

ALEJANDRA S. ESCALERA MENDOZA 
PhD Student/Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas
ase180001@utdallas.edu

  • University of Kansas B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering (2010-2014)
  • University of Kansas M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering (2017-2019)
  • University of Texas at Dallas PhD in Mechanical Engineering (2019-Current)

Alejandra Escalera is a PhD student at UTD in the field of structural analysis, structural dynamics, and design for manufacturing. For the SUMR project, her contribution focuses on the joint design of large-scale segmented wind turbine blades. Her other research interests and work include finite element modeling, non-destructive testing to determine as-built structural properties and detect damage, and effect of manufacturing procedures on material and structural properties.


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MEGHAN KAMINSKI
Graduate Student
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia
mek3xc@virginia.edu
Resume

  • University of Virginia, M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (2016-Present)
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2012-2016)

Meghan Kaminski is currently a student researcher on wind turbines currently focused on developing and testing a 1/100th scale model of a 100 meter wind turbine blade. The 1 meter blade will be geometrically, aerodynamically, elastically and gravitationally scaled and placed on a wind turbine on the grounds of the University of Virginia.


Sepideh Kianbakht
Ph.D. Candidate
Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
skianbak@mines.edu

Sepideh Kianbakht has received her bachelor degree in electrical engineering in power system area from Allameh Mohades University, Iran and has received her master degree in Electrical engineering with a focus in control system and minor in mechanical from Colorado School of Mines. Currently, she is a Ph. D. candidate in electrical engineering at Colorado School of Mines and she works on the control system of the SUMR wind turbine for her Ph. D. thesis. Currently her focus in SUMR Project is to keep the wind turbine safe from damages induces by shutdown that occurs in high wind speed. Her interest is control system applications in renewable energy. Her hobby is climbing and mountaineering.


martin_danaii

DANA MARTIN
Graduate Student
Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
dmartin@mymail.mines.edu

Dana Martin is a Graduate Research Assistant at Colorado School of Mines in the Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering division. His current area of research is focused on designing control systems for Segmented Ultra-Light Morphing Rotor technologies to be used with multi-Megawatt wind turbines. His background includes a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado School of Mines (’10) and a Master of Science (’16) with a focus in the thermal sciences.


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CARLOS NOYES
Graduate Student
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia
ccn5cw@virginia.edu
Resume

  • University of Virginia, M.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (2014-Present)
  • University of Virginia, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2010-2014)

Carlos Noyes’ current research focuses on designing extreme scale, downwind, morphing wind turbine rotors. The rotor blades will be dynamically adjustable with the use of a hinge to minimize the damaging blade loads. Previous projects include designing and characterizing aerodynamic fairings to minimize tower shadow effect for downwind turbines, testing super hydrophobic heat exchanger elements to be used in isothermal compressed air energy storage, and developing an electrically conductive super hydrophobic coating with the use of carbon nanotubes to explore the possibility of reversing saturation by the use of water electrolysis.


Juliet Simpson

Juliet Simpson
Graduate Research Assistant
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia
js9sw@virginia.edu

  • University of Virginia, PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (2018-present)
  • NC State University, BS in Mechanical Engineering (2014-2018) 

Juliet is currently a PhD student at UVA and graduate research assistant on the SUMR wind project. Her research focuses on cost and value of energy analyses as well as wind shear in the atmospheric boundary layer. Her other research interests include battery storage and compressed air energy storage for wind turbines. 

Shulong Yao

SHULONG YAO 
PhD Candidate/Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Texas at Dallas
shulong.yao@utdallas.edu

  • University of Texas at Dallas, PhD in Mechanical Engineering (2017-Current)

Shulong Yao is a PhD candidate at UTD in the field of structural design and optimization, structural dynamics, and design for manufacturing. For the SUMR project, his research focuses on the structural design and optimization of extreme-scale wind turbine blades, structural design of the sub-scale blade for manufacturing. His other research interests include the materials processing, mechanics of materials and design of innovative strain sensors.


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DANIEL ZALKIND
Ph.D. Candidate
Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering
University of Colorado Boulder
daniel.zalkind@colorado.edu

  • Drexel University, B.S. in Electrical Engineering
  • Drexel University, M.S. in Electrical Engineering

Daniel Zalkind is working towards his Ph.D. studying control systems for extreme scale wind turbines.  Daniel’s work has focused on implementing active control systems that reduce blade loads in the specific cases that constrain structural design. This will show how changes to control algorithms and architectures can enable lighter and less expensive blade designs. Daniel also runs the CU Energy Club, a group dedicated to educating students about energy and connecting them with professionals in the industry.


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EMMA BROSS
SUMR Manager of Communications
Content Editor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Virginia

Emma Bross enjoys the intersection of design and tech. She is currently managing the SUMR website.