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Walther And Gakhar WebTwo students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University won awards at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region IV Student Conference held April 28-30 at the University of Houston. Kanika Gakhar and Carolyn Walther both work in the Advanced Vertical Flight Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Moble Benedict, assistant professor in the department.

Gakhar is an Engineering Honors undergraduate student in aerospace engineering. She won second place in the student paper competition in the undergraduate category for her paper “Experimental Analysis of the Aeromechanics and Efficiency of a Robotic Hummingbird.”

Walther, a master’s student in aerospace engineering, won first place in the student paper competition in the master’s category for her paper “Understanding Unsteady Aerodynamics of Cycloidal Rotors in Hover at Ultra-low Reynolds Numbers.”

The AIAA sponsors student conferences in each AIAA region as a means to encourage students in aerospace-related fields to discuss research, exchange knowledge and generate interest in the field of aerospace engineering. The AIAA Student Conference is an annual research competition designed to give students a chance to have their work reviewed and critiqued by practicing professionals.