AE Research Opportunities for Undergrad Students

Prof. Theodorou speaking to a group of 6 grad students

Spring 2023 AE Research for Pay or Credit

Most of the following listings are for credit, requiring the student to both gain the faculty's approval and register for credit. Students who have questions about this should contact the project manager directly. Research opportunities will be added as they are made available. Check back for updates. 


STUDENTS: To get credit for any of the following research projects, you will need to submit a Undergraduate Research Permitand have it approved by your advisor. Find out more about undergraduate research here.


FACULTY: Email AE Communications to add or update your research listing(s). 


Project: DCSL -- Air-Bearing Robotics Hardware Integration
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? No, we the applicant will need to be able to work on-sight in the lab.
Project Manager: Dr. Panagiotis Tsiotras
Action: Please email resumes to Matthew King-Smith (mcks3.gatech.edu) and cc: Mehregan Dor (mdor3@gatech.edu)
Office: Montgomery Knight Building, Room 111
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment:  10 hours per week. Position necessitates registering for 3-credit hour undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 1
Citizenship Required:  No
Majors: Open to all majors, prefer either mechanical or aerospace background
Details: The Dynamics and Control Systems Laboratory (DCSL) in the School of Aerospace Engineering is looking to hire an undergraduate student to work part-time during this Fall 2023 semester on a robotics hardware integration project. The project pertains to the integration and testing of a custom designed reaction wheel (RW) onto an air-bearing spacecraft simulator – COSMOS - for the purpose of attitude control. 

The position will entail the following: 

  • Identification of the motor + RW system parameters
  • Design of a continuous/digital controller 
  • Validation of the controller performance 
  • Physical integration of the RW onto the COSMOS platform 
  • Validation of RW performance by means of a demonstration on the COSMOS platform 
  • Documentation and information capture at all steps of the project, with appropriate reporting and deliverables required in sue. 

The applicant should have: 

  • Basic understanding of modelling of dynamical systems 

  • Technical coding experience in either C/C++, MATLAB, or ideally both. 

  • Basic understanding of digital data transfer methods/protocols 

  • Experience working with Raspberry Pi boards and microcontrollers 


Project: Tabletop exercise for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Operations 
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes, but team meetings are in-person by default
Project Manager: Dr. Michael Balchanos
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Michael Balchanos (michael.balchanos@asdl.gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 105
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible).
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details:  With Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities becoming more important for nations as climate change worsens, stakeholders and planners seek for tools to allow generation and exploration of successful manned aerial, maritime and UAV fleet compositions. Such tools rely on simulating real HADR scenarios and are provide interactive “wargaming” decision-making for HADR mission planning and acquisition. Based on the intra-theater mission scenario related to the Tropical Cyclone Winston, this project is developing a tabletop interactive tradeoff environment, utilizing metrics such as packages delivered, location and population serviced, time to complete the mission and acquisition costs. We’re seeking student researchers to support mission scenario experimentation planning as well as visualization environment development. Experience in SoS Operations analysis techniques (e.g., Discrete Event Simulation methods) is preferred, JMP statistical software, as well as Python-based visualization tools and libraries.  


Project: Air Force Mobility and Sustainment
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Alicia Sudol
Action: Email your resume and interest to (alicia.sudol@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 321b
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week. Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 2
Citizenship Requirement: US Persons
Details: This ASDL grand challenge project is an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) sponsored semester-long effort to provide the US Air Force with a decision-making tool for Mobility and Sustainment operations in a multi-domain environment. The tool will simulate scenarios accounting for fleet performance under the given mission objectives. The tool will vary fleet composition and aircraft performance to account for aging fleet with the objective of informing acquisition decisions for future aircraft.

This work will require each student to:

  • help develop code in Python
  • refactor existing Python code
  • write unit tests
  • benchmark and profile code execution

Experience with git and OOP concepts is necessary. Prior python development in VSCode would be highly valuable. Additionally, the student must be willing to assist with UI development and some boto3 work may be necessary. Bash experience would be a plus.

Routine meetings are held twice a week for planning and review. A good work ethic and good communication is expected along with the ability estimate workloads and meet deadlines.


Project: ASDL GT Smart Campus – Data Analytics
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Not completely. Mixture of in person meetings with the existing team and remote check-ins.
Project Manager: Dr. Jung-Ho Lewe / Dr. Scott Duncan
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Jung-Ho Lewe (j.lewe@gatech.edu) and cc: Dr. Scott Duncan (duncan@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 100
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: ASDL’s GT Smart Campus team of research faculty and students collaborates with GT Facilities engineers to evaluate data from campus buildings, central plants, and other infrastructure, including the ultra-sustainable Kendeda Living Building. Students joining this team will help out with data processing, analytics, and machine learning to better understand and inform the performance of campus energy (and water) systems. Existing skills with Python are a plus.


Project: ASDL GT Smart Campus – Sensor (IoT) development and deployment
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Not completely. Mixture of in person meetings with the existing team and remote check-ins.
Project Manager: Dr. Jung-Ho Lewe / Dr. Scott Duncan
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Jung-Ho Lewe (j.lewe@gatech.edu) and cc: Dr. Scott Duncan (duncan@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 100
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: ASDL’s GT Smart Campus group has a sub-team that has been developing low-cost, wireless sensors to measure various properties relating to campus buildings: indoor thermal conditions, airflow, occupancy, exterior conditions, imaging sensors, etc. A variety of sensors already exist and can be modified, upgraded, or re-engineered to improve performance, as well as tested in various campus spaces. This team needs “hands-on” students interested in mechanical design (e.g., packaging via 3D printing), sensor software design (using Raspberry Pi-based consumer-grade IoT computing devices that transmit data home over GTwifi), database design, or any combination thereof. No experience is necessary but a natural inclination towards tinkering, hacking, and making is a must!


Project: Design, build, and test a magnetic field mapper
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes, but in-person meetings are preferred
Project Manager: Dr. Álvaro Romero-Calvo
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Álvaro Romero Calvo (lowgravitylab.ae.gatech.edu)
Office: ESM 203A
Semesters: Spring 2023, Fall 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 3-4
Citizenship Requirement: No
Majors: AE and ECE
Details: Magnetic field mapping systems create a high-resolution map of the magnetic field around an electromagnet or permanent magnet. The Low-Gravity Science and Technology Laboratory is looking for students with a strong interest in hardware development, electronics, CAD design, manufacturing, and electromagnetic simulation to design, build, and test one of such devices. This instrument will be used to characterize the magnetic field around the permanent magnets used in the low-gravity magnetohydrodynamic projects pursued by the lab. It will also be employed to test magnetorquers and other electromagnetic spacecraft attitude control systems. We aim to produce a low-cost, open-source device that helps support academic research with a fraction of the cost imposed by commercial alternatives. The mapper should be operative by the end of 2023.


Project: Solar Energy Generation at Airports - ASDL
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Cedric Justin
Action: Email your resume to cedric.justin@gatech.edu using email subject:
 ASDL Solar Energy Generation at Airport - last name, first name.
In the text,  include citizenship info, gpa, expected graduation date & level (1st year, 2nd year, etc.)
Office: Weber 113A
Semesters: at least one, could be two
Time Commitment: 8 hrs /week ~ 2 Credit hours
Number of Students Needed:  1-2 Self-Driven Motivated Students
Citizenship Requirement: None
GPA Requirement: 3.5+ preferred; 3.2 minimum
Details: Airports are sitting on vast amounts of land that are not put to productive use. As part of this research, we will be reviewing how these large amounts of lands can be put to productive use by sitting solar arrays for in-situ production of electric energy to power future electric aircraft. We will investigate regulations regarding the sitting of solar arrays at airports near runways and taxiways. We will then use and possibly modify an existing environment to estimate the quantity of solar arrays that can be placed as well as the amount of power and energy that can be produced.  Interactions with the industry and presentation of results may occur during the Semester.
Requirements for the positions: Python Experience & some Autocad Experience
Sample projects & external collaborators: Possibly with NASA / NREL
Additional information:  None


Project: ASDL GT Smart Campus – Merging Campus Data with 3D Visualization
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes, although a few periodic in-person / onsite meeting may be required.
Project Manager: Dr. Scott Duncan
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Scott Duncan (duncan@gatech.edu)
Office: Weber 306A
Semesters: Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 1-2
Citizenship Requirement: No
Details: ASDL’s GT Smart Campus group has a need to better understand campus data by overlaying it into 2D and 3D representations of various indoor (building) and outdoor (campus) spaces. Students are needed who are willing to dive into existing software packages (e.g., BIM, CAD, GIS) and apply them to address the broader needs of Smart Campus, e.g., evaluating the performance of campus infrastructure in terms of energy consumption, thermal comfort, occupancy, carbon neutrality, etc. The ASDL team already has existing CAD/BIM models to start from, including ones created by GT Facilities. This research role is ideal for students broadly interested in CAD, industrial design, visualization, aesthetics, etc., and is not limited to AE applicants. GT’s Kendeda Living Building will be one focus of study. Previous experience in software (Autodesk Revit, Sketchup, etc.) is preferred. Selected students will collaborate with students working on Data Analytics and Sensor Development (see other job descriptions), and hybrid roles may be considered.


Project: Development of Rocket Propellant Sloshing Analysis Framework
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes, but in-person meetings are preferred
Project Manager: Dr. Álvaro Romero-Calvo
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Álvaro Romero Calvo (lowgravitylab.ae.gatech.edu)
Office: ESM 203A
Semesters: Spring 2023, Fall 2023
Time Commitment: About 5-10 hrs per week (flexible). Scales to the number of credit hours registered for undergraduate research.
Number of Students Needed: 6-8
Citizenship Requirement: No
Majors: AE-only
Details: The term “sloshing” refers to the movement of liquids in partially filled containers. Sloshing is key for space applications because it can significantly alter the dynamics of space vehicles, potentially leading to mission failure if not properly accounted for. The Low-Gravity Science and Technology Laboratory is looking for students with a strong interest in rocket propulsion to develop an analytical open-access framework to study the sloshing of propellants in launch stages. Our goal is twofold: first, to recover, synthesize, and update the knowledge acquired in the field since the 1960s, and secondly, to make it accessible to everyone. Students will develop a graphical user interface in Python (preferred) or Matlab that will implement analytical tools and experimental correlations used to obtain the modal response of liquid interfaces. If needed, participants will also have the chance to experimentally obtain sloshing damping correlations for different tank shapes and propellant management devices. More info on the research and methods can be found at NASA’s SP-106 and F.T. Dodge’s “The New Dynamic Behavior of Liquids in Moving Containers” (available upon request).


Project:  Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations of Internal and External Flows (1 credit hour)
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Lakshmi Sankar
Action: Email your resume and interest to Dr. Lakshmi Sankar (lakshmi.sankar@aerospace.gatech.edu)
Office: Guggenheim 449
Semesters:
Spring 2023
Time Commitment: About 3-5 hrs per week.
Number of Students Needed: 3-5
Citizenship Requirement: No
Majors: AE-only.
Details: Students will learn how to use ANSYS CFD software tools to model internal and external flows. They will acquire training in grid generation, setting up and monitoring computer simulations, post-processing and visualization of flow fields, and report writing.


Project: System Modeling Using SysML - ASDL
Can this work be performed remotely or online, if needed? Yes
Project Manager: Dr. Selcuk Cimtalay & Dr. Russell Peak
Action: Follow instructions on slide #10 in the “Model-Based Systems Engineering Information (pdf)” presentation (see “Additional information” below).‚Äč
Office: Weber 104
Semesters: at least one, could be several
Time Commitment: 4 hrs/week
Number of Students Needed:  1-15
Citizenship Requirement: varies
GPA Requirement: 3.5+ preferred; 3.2 minimum
Details: Multiple potential position types (depending on interests). Most, but not all, of our Systems Modeling Language (SysML) projects require US Persons, either US citizens or permanent residents
Requirements for the positions: A key requirement is an interest in SysML (no prior SysML experience required) and a willingness to learn and explore
Sample projects & external collaborators: Lockheed MBSE - CubeSat testbed – NASA MBSE Pathfinder initiative – US Navy (NAVAIR) Model-Centric Engineering (MCE) – UAV testbed – NASA JPL: model-based systems engineering (MBSE); model-based wikis; embedded s/w – Boeing: MBSE model complexity & health management.
Additional informationModel-Based Systems Engineering Information (pdf)