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Four students awarded American Helicopter Society Vertical Flight Foundation scholarships

May 8, 2018
| By: Jan McHarg

Four students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University have been awarded the 2018-2019 Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarships from the American Helicopter Society (AHS). This is a merit-based scholarship, given by the AHS, to students who conduct cutting-edge research related to vertical flight.

David Coleman, who is a recipient in the doctoral degree category, conducts foundational research to understand the flight dynamics of a novel hummingbird-inspired robot. Atanu Halder, also a recipient in the doctoral degree category, focuses his research on developing an aeroelastic model-based design framework for cyclocopters. Bochan Lee, who won the scholarship in the master’s degree category, is working on the development of a novel control system for vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicles to autonomously land on small surface vessels. James McElreath, the top candidate in the bachelor’s degree category, conducts experiments to understand the three-dimensional unsteady aerodynamics on a cycloidal rotor blade.

The students work in the Advanced Vertical Flight Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Moble Benedict, assistant professor in aerospace engineering. A total of 25 VFF scholarships were awarded internationally this year, and Texas A&M is second in number of scholarships per university.

The scholarship winners will be honored at the 74th American Helicopter Society Annual Forum in May in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to receiving their scholarships, Coleman, Halder and McElreath will be presenting technical papers during the conference.

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