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Naval Engineering Students Win Recognition at ASNE Day Event

By Brendan O'Hallarn

For the second year in a row, Old Dominion University naval engineering students have won accolades at the American Society of Naval Engineers' ASNE Day, for Navy-focused research conducted with University faculty members.

Students representing the Naval Engineering and Marine Systems Institute (NEMSI) of Old Dominion's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology won a first place, two second place and numerous third place awards in a competition featuring the nation's top naval engineering schools.

More than 20 undergraduate and graduate students from Old Dominion attended the event on March 3 and 4 in Arlington, Va.

In addition to the diverse keynote and technical presentations at the annual conference, students took tours of the of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, and held small group sessions with Navy leaders on topics ranging from how to get published academically to how to build a resume.

It was part of a concerted effort by the University since NEMSI was created in 2012. Jennifer Michaeli, the director of NEMSI, has been a member of research teams winning more than $3.3 million in grants from the Office of Naval Research, the U.S. Department of Defense and other agencies. She and other faculty have also sought to build strong links with Navy researchers, local shipyards and other maritime industries.

"We are working closely with faculty and University leadership to create an environment where Old Dominion is seen as a hub of naval engineering education and research. Faculty collaboration, both in research and as student mentors, is essential," Michaeli said.

In addition to Michaeli, Batten College engineering faculty members Gene Hou, Paul Moses, Orlando Ayala, Sebastian Bawab, Tony Dean, Linda Vahala, Yuzhong Shen, Sandeep Kumar, Vukica Jovanovic and Mileta Tomovic, and Petros Katsioloudis, associate professor of STEM education in the Darden College of Education, worked as mentors and advisers for the students presenting research as part of ASNE Day.

Also at the conference, Kayla Farrow, graduate student in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and recipient of an ASNE scholarship, participated in a women-in-engineering panel and spoke with 6th- to 12th-grade girls, to encourage them toward careers in naval engineering.

Gershom Obeng, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) and a recipient of an ASNE scholarship, participated in the young professionals' workshops, where he spoke with leaders in the U.S. Navy.

Old Dominion students and faculty also had an opportunity to interact with Navy and marine industry professionals in the exhibit hall with two University booths this year, highlighting ODU's Biomass Research Laboratory and the Stern2Stem veterans' career building program.

The following Old Dominion University students were recognized for their research projects at ASNE Day:

Undergraduate Research

1st Place: "Design Integration Package for Directed Energy Weapon Onboard Surface Combatants," Dareni Farrar (MAE), Alfred Hammett (ECE), Moodey Fahim (ECE), Xiaoxiao Hu (MAE), Steven Trenor (MAE), Matt Sanders (civil and environmental engineering - CEE);

2nd Place: "Investigation into Dynamic Response Modeling for 11m RHIB with Enforced Acceleration," Brian Johnson (MAE), Steven Trenor (MAE), Matt Sanders (CEE);

3rd Place: "Dynamic Electrical Model for Shipboard Solid State Laser Weapon System Integration," Moodey Fahim (ECE), Johnny Nguyen (ECE);

"Liquefied Natural Gas as a Primary Fuel Source in Marine Vessels," Robert Hiles (MAE);

"Replacement of Halon and Carbon Dioxide for Shipboard Fire Suppression Systems," Michael Harty (MAE); and

"The Environmental Impact of Ballast Tanks," Charles Carey (engineering technology).

Graduate Research

2nd Place: "Increasing Student Veteran Achievement in STEM Degrees," Connor Schwalm (engineering management and systems engineering) and Patrick Heaney (MAE);

3rd Place: "Materials Testing of EOS Maraging Steel MS1 for Naval Applications," Kylee Kohl (MAE), Amit Kulkarni (MAE), Melissa Periman (modeling, simulation and visualization engineering - MSVE), Roman Roxas (MAE), Jonathan Ricci (MAE);

"Development of a Game to Assist Military Veterans in Accelerating their Path to STEM Degrees," John Shull (MSVE) and Katherine Smith (MSVE);

"Algae Based Biofuels Life Cycle Assessment for the Great Green Fleet," Andy Bessett (CEE); and

"Higher Education Pathways for Maritime Mechatronics Technicians," Mildred Jones (STEM).

The trip by such a large contingent of Old Dominion naval engineering students was financed by a grant from ASNE's Tidewater division.

"On behalf of our students and faculty engaged in naval engineering activities at Old Dominion University, we are so very grateful for the continued partnership between the two organizations," Batten College Dean Oktay Baysal said. "Their support has a meaningful and enduring impact on our students and our student programs."

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