Four AE students recognized by VFF with scholarships

Four AE students recognized by VFF with scholarships
Atlanta, GA

Congratulations go out to four AE students who were recognized, recently, with scholarships by the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) of the American Helicopter Society (AHS). Brandon Liberi, Sorin Pirau, Joachim Hodara and Frank H. Patterson have each been invited to formally receive their scholarships during the AHS 70th Annual Forum & Technology Display, to be held May 21 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Congratulations go out to four AE students who were recognized, recently, with scholarships by the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) of the American Helicopter Society (AHS). Brandon Liberi, Sorin Pirau, Joachim Hodara and Frank H. Patterson have each been invited to formally receive their scholarships during the AHS 70th Annual Forum & Technology Display, to be held May 21 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Brandon Liberi (in a wind tunnel)

Third-year undergraduate Brandon Liberi was tapped to receive the $1,700 Charles Crawford Scholarship, which is given each year to commemorate a former GTRI researcher who also served as an Army aviation research and development leader, AHS president and AHS chairman.

A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Liberi currently works as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath in the Experimental Aerodynamics and Concepts Group. He will not be able to attend the banquet in Canada because he will be starting an internship with the Honeywell Corporation in Greer, S.C.

“My involvement with AHS has been a result of having been lucky enough to work with Dr. Komerath extensively on various vertical flight related projects in the John J. Harper Low Speed Wind Tunnel,” Liberi said.

Sorin Pirau

First year master’s student Sorin Pirau was chosen to receive the $2,300 Florence Winslow DeLaRue Scholarship, which is given annually in honor of the late wife of Eugene Liberatore, an esteemed rotary wing pioneer, historian, and author. The Sibiu, Romania native graduated from Wilson High School in South Carolina and currently works under the guidance of Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath.

“I chose engineering because both of my parents are engineers and I have always done well in math and science courses throughout my education,” he said. “I chose aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech specifically because it seemed like a challenging and interesting field compared to other engineering choices.”

Joachim  Hodara

Doctoral student Joachim Hodara received the $3,100 Richard Gabel Scholarship, annually bestowed in memory of a leading vibrations engineer with an impressive 43-year career at Piasecki Helicopter / Boeing. A native of France, Hodara received a VFF scholarship last year, as well. He is currently conducting research within the non-linear computational aeroelasticity laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Marilyn Smith. His research focuses on turbulence and transition modeling for rotorcraft applications.

“I find the rotorcraft industry extremely exciting from an engineering perspective,” he said. “There are so many parameters to consider when designing a new concept: tilt rotor? Coaxial? Tandem? Best of all, the aircraft manufacturers actually build and fly these things.”

Frank H. Patterson

Doctoral student Frank H. Patterson was recognized with the $3,100 John Zuk Scholarship, which is given out annually in honor of a leading NASA researcher and proponent of tiltrotor and extremely short take-off and landing (ESTOL) aircraft. A native of Syracuse, NY, Patterson earned his undergraduate and masters degrees from Georgia Tech and currently works under the guidance of AE’s Dr. Daniel Schrage.

“I choose to study aerospace engineering as an undergrad because I was very interested in flight and aircraft. I became involved with helicopters and AHS after I graduated with my undergraduate degree and took a job with the Army's Aviation Engineering Directorate.

Patterson has chosen the research topic for his dissertation, “Robust Concept Selection through Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision-making,” and hopes to defend in the summer of 2015. 

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