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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI undergraduate research team wins competitions for investigating plasma-assisted turbulent jet ignition for rapid-combustion applications

July 27, 2016

(left to right) Jesse Burton, Zach Wozniak, Cameron Hedrick and Daniel Robinson with first-place certificate for technical design

(left to right) Jesse Burton, Zach Wozniak, Cameron Hedrick and Daniel Robinson with first-place certificate for technical design

The plasma hot jet-ignition team project funded by the IUPUI Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) won first place in the technical-design competition of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region III Student Conference held this spring, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

This team of undergraduate students of diverse disciplines was composed of Zach Wozniak, a physics major; Jesse Burton, an electrical engineering major; with Daniel Robinson, Cameron Hedrick, and Qiuyu Deng from mechanical engineering. These college students, under the mentorship of Ali Tarraf Kojok, graduate student, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Mohammad Ebrahim Feyz, doctoral student, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Associate Professor of Engineering Technology Afshin Izadian worked industriously throughout the 2015-2016 academic year at the Combustion and Propulsion Research Lab directed by Professor of Mechanical Engineering Razi Nalim to design a new ignition system. The one they successfully designed is part of an efficient combustor concept geared toward reducing fuel consumption. The plasma MURI team presented their research before a panel of judges from the aerospace industry, including The Boeing Company and Rolls-Royce Corporation, with favorable reviews. They also took part in the technical-design challenge to build the fastest flying blimp, competing against more than 10 teams from other participating universities. Their blimp broke the records, landing the team first prize.