Bertagne takes second place in SPIE/ASME Student Paper Competition

BertagneChristopher Bertagne, a graduate student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, working under the advise of Dr. Darren Hartl with co-chair Dr. John Whitcomb, was awarded second place in the SPIE/ASME 2015 Student Paper Competition. SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, held its 22nd international symposium on smart structures and materials and nondestructive evaluation and health monitoring (SPIE Smart Structures/NDE) in March. The conference generally averages 800 to 900 attendees, most of them authors/presenters.

The paper, "Simulating Coupled Thermal-Mechanical Interactions in Morphing Radiators," was presented at the conference in San Diego, California. Nearly 60 papers were submitted from around the world for this year's student paper competition. Bertagne’s second-place prize included a certificate and $300 cash award. The first and third place prizes went to students form Georgia Tech and Princeton, respectively.

“Considering that Chris has only been in graduate school for a year, his performance in this venue was truly impressive," said Hartl. "He certainly held his own against a number of more senior Ph.D. students."

Bertagne’s research is sponsored by a NASA Space Technical Research Fellowship (NSTRF) and involves the development of high-performance radiators that utilize shape memory alloys (SMAs) to change shape. Radiators such as these have applications in future space missions, particularly long-term crewed missions.