Trine team takes top place at AIAA regional conference
By: Colin Meadowcroft - Monday, April 25, 2022

A Trine University senior design team took first place with a paper they presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region III Student Conference, held March 25-26 at Purdue University.

The team's senior design project was to optimize a rotor for a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) design. The team used a combination of wind tunnel tests and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) along with a genetic algorithm to complete the task.

After performing thousands of CFD simulations on hundreds of different rotor designs and comparing those to a dozen different wind tunnel tests, the students selected the rotor that will generate the most power utilizing winds typical in northeast Indiana.

The Trine entry beat out research papers from universities including Ohio State University and Wright State University. In addition to a $500 cash prize for the team, one Trine team member is invited to represent the team and present the paper at the AIAA International Student Conference, to be held in conjunction with the 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum in National Harbor, Maryland, in January.

More than 170 papers were presented by university and high school students across six regions, with over 500 students and professionals in attendance.


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