Earlier this month, aerospace engineering sophomore Sreya Kumpatla won second place in the freshman/sophomore open topic competition at the AIAA Region II Southeast Student Conference with her paper entitled “Slotted, Natural-Laminar-Flow Airfoil: A Revolutionary Technology for Fuel Efficiency.”
She was judged on the technical paper as well as a 20-minute presentation on her research findings, which focused on the slotted, natural-laminar-flow (SNLF) airfoil, developed by Dan Somers of Airfoils, Inc., and the work being done by the UT-led NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) to develop the airfoil and integrate it into a future aircraft model called the Boeing Truss-Braced Transonic Wing Aircraft.
Kumpatla is working as an undergraduate research assistant on the NASA ULI project, and is currently compiling research the ULI group is doing and explaining how it will enhance the SNLF airfoil. She is also writing a literature review on the history behind laminar flow airfoils and the SNLF airfoil.
She is advised by Jessie Rogers Zeanah Faculty Fellow Stephanie TerMaath, and mentored by PhD candidate Corey Arndt.
AIAA holds regional student conferences to provide student members with the opportunity to present their technical work as they would at an AIAA forum, and to prepare them for their future as an aerospace engineer.
Twenty universities attended the conference, which was hosted by the University of Alabama and sponsored by several companies, including Lockheed Martin, NASA Stennis and Marshall, Dynetics, and UTSI.