Aerospace engineers design high-performance systems: typically aircraft; spacecraft; satellites; and missiles. They learn the fundamentals of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, structures, and propulsion. Graduates work in analysis/design and research and development at local aircraft companies, industries around the nation/world, and with other organizations (e.g., NASA).

Trash Transfer

MEMBERS: Bruno Borges, Jackson Ivers, Bear Jeannides, Conor Kearns, Yasen Kolev

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 100

Team Trash Transfer is competing in the Bronze Propeller competition.  The mission is to pick up pieces of garbage from the ground, without landing or touching the ground, which is important for multiple reasons.  The first is the positive impact on the environment from cleaning up litter from city parks, highways, construction sites, private businesses, or wherever litter is found. The more trash that is picked up, the less that finds itself into stomachs of animals, into storm drains, or into local bodies of water. Another reason this mission is important is the economic impact it can have. Being able to pick trash up without landing will 1) speed up the rate of removal of trash and 2) reduce the amount of required labor to pick up the same amount of trash. Both factors will save private companies, governments, and nonprofits substantial amounts of money, while enabling them to remove a larger amount of trash in the process.  This team will accomplish the mission using a biplane with of the majority of the build using basswood and a few select parts made of pink foam, and a net hanging below the aircraft to pick up the debris.

sUAV Capable of Ground-to-Air Medical Specimen Retrieval

MEMBERS: Marcus Ang, Deepak Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Nicolas Smith

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 145 (Lobby)

Many Southeast Asian countries are challenged by lack of access to medical equipment and shortages of health care professionals, especially in remote rural areas where there is poor infrastructure. The large population living in remote rural areas must travel long distances to obtain laboratory tests for proper diagnosis, meaning fatal health issues are commonly ignored. The Center for Strategic & International Studies showed the impact of this as Covid-19 infection accelerated greatly in rural villages in Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia due to the lack of testing. The team intends to provide a solution for this ongoing problem by designing a sUAV capable of short-range on-the-fly pickup of urgent medical samples such as blood tests and Covid-19 saliva tests; thus enabling access to advanced diagnostic testing in these areas not easily accessible by ground vehicles or rotorcraft. This was achieved by designing a fixed high wing radio-controlled airplane with 3 pickup mechanism that hooks onto the package and store it inside the fuselage. The vehicle also features a detachable wing and high thrust to ensure high mobile and easy hand launch due to the operating terrain.

Team Bowerbird

MEMBERS: Matthew Anderson, Jonathon Gutierrez, Zakk Lierman, Matthew Schmid, Riley Ziegler

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 142 (Lobby)

In March 2014, the largest known Ebola outbreak in history began in West Africa, primarily affecting Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Liberia reported more than 10,600 cases and 4,800 deaths [CDC]. The selected mission for the 2022 Bronze Propeller Competition revolves around the transport of biohazardous tests from inaccessible locations to testing facilities or to someone who transports the tests to testing facilities. Pandemics, such as COVID-19 and Ebola, have disproportionally impacted less-developed communities who struggle from reduced access to healthcare resources. Beyond COVID-19 tests, access to other biomedical tests, such as blood and urine sampling, viral tests, and swab testing have been traditionally out of reach for some communities. The aircraft’s objective is to deliver a “one size fits all” payload in which any of the described medical tests can be carried within it. Additionally, picking up biohazardous materials via plane will mitigate person-to-person contact, reducing the possibility of spreading disease and enhancing social welfare. For areas lacking in accessible infrastructure, such as Liberia during the monsoon season, the presence of such an aircraft will enhance community access to surrounding healthcare services while reducing the negative impact that the construction of roads and bridges would have on the environment.

Low-Cost Aircraft Based Remote Sensor Array Deployment for Wildfire Control and Containment 

MEMBERS: Sam Denis, Samuel Heim, Noah Johnson, Ramses Young

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 104

Since the first adaptation of aerial firefighting by the US Forest Service in 1930, it has been clear having an eye in the sky to target specific areas of a fire saves countless lives. However, the current state of aerial firefighting is severely outdated, underutilized and cannot prevent all deaths. This can be seen from fires as recent as March 5, 2022, in Hutchinson, Kansas where a person lost their life from a wildfire even though the state deployed 2 aircraft. Therefore, our team developed the Data Acquisition and Thermo-surveillance Aircraft (DATA) to supplement current aerial firefighting efforts. As of 2021, 4 million km2 of land is burned each year by wildfires, which is about half of the US land area. That is enough land to feed 198 million people. It is also estimated that about 33,500 people die annually due to wildfires. DATA is a low-cost solution geared toward reducing these numbers via gathering data, which is something that current aero firefighters are requesting. DATA deploys sensor balls that collect atmospheric data that is then used to model and predict the fire as it grows. This information will guide firefighting efforts providing knowledge on where to focus their forces.

Remote Biological Sample Pickup

MEMBERS: Shubhrojit Bhattacharya, Riley Flaherty, David Hubin, Gunnar Kissman, Colton Wagner

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 141 (Lobby)

Our goal is to reduce the spread of disease among isolated and vulnerable communities with an efficient and safe process. Our remote-controlled aerial vehicle is meant for use in communities with little access to local medical care. The vehicle is capable of retrieving samples of any bodily fluid that may be needed for testing. Examples may include remote villages with an outbreak of infectious bloodborne pathogens or COVID-19. Cheek swabs or blood samples can be collected from each household by the drone remotely to avoid human contact and then be returned to the operator to be delivered to appropriate medical personnel for rapid testing and results. 

Contactless Mosquito Trap Collection

MEMBERS: Matthew Chace, Logan Gose, Shritha Jagadheeswaran, Theron Miller, Sid Pathak

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 105

Our team is competing in the 2022 Bronze Propeller competition where we are tasked with designing a fixed wing aircraft capable of picking up a payload without landing. In the spirit of the competition, our team will provide a safer and more efficient collection method of mosquito samples used for research. Mosquito borne illnesses are a leading cause for loss of human life. As carriers of diseases such as Dengue Fever, Malaria, Zika, and West Nile, it is of great importance that we work to understand these deadly insects and their impact on humanity. Research in this field requires constant monitoring and sampling of mosquito populations. This is traditionally done by hand netting or using baited autonomous traps. To recover these traps, a person must venture into the dangerous and uncomfortable region to retrieve the samples. Our team proposes a safer and quicker method to recover samples via a small, unmanned aircraft. Not only does this save time and effort in sample collection but allows for more traps to be placed in any given area. This results in an increase in number of mosquitoes gathered in a given area and a better understanding of the population as a whole.

Ocean Cleanup Engineering Aircraft respoNse (OCEAN)

MEMBERS: Maggie Brown, Tristan Krouse, Raley Mantz, Kayle Schapmann, Daniel Valencia

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 101

According to a report by National Geographic the best guess for how much plastic is in the ocean is 150 million metric tons. This is expected to increase to 600 million metric tons by the year 2040 (Parker 2020). Therefore the Marine Debris Removal team has built and designed the Ocean Cleanup Drone (OCD) with the intention of assisting the current ocean cleanup efforts being put forth by organizations like The Ocean Cleanup. In real-world application a fleet of OCDs would be flown off a ship during a visit to an artificial coastline that is being used to collect trash from the ocean. The vehicles would then collect additional trash from the surface of the ocean using the nets attached to the bottom. Each OCD can hold 540 cubic inches of debris, which helps with the cleanup process. The debris that is collected will be recycled. The Ocean Cleanup recently released a proof of concept of sunglasses made entirely of plastic removed from the Pacific Garbage Patch, one of the largest collections of trash in the ocean. The sunglasses are designed to be completely recycled in order to stop more trash from entering the ocean.

Collection of Virus-Induced Detritus

MEMBERS: Andrew Bleything, Konstantin Ganchev, William Johnston, Madeline Smith, Harune Suzuki

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 140 (Lobby)

Protection at the cost of pollution: while pandemic-era facemasks keep people safe, their unnatural decomposition and improper disposal poses a serious risk to the environment. In fact, National Geographic has projected that the amount of plastic waste will triple in the next 20 years, with no suitable solution in sight [1]. In response, the Collection of Virus-Induced Detritus project has developed the Mask HAWK (M-HAWK): a lightweight RC biplane that is conceived in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a student-engineered answer to the abrupt and alarming increase in plastic waste from masks, gloves, and other polymer-based consumer products. By using an on-the-fly pickup, the M-HAWK can mitigate issues involving traditional PPE collection such as physical exhaustion, speed-of-pickup, and risk of contamination by touch. The M-HAWK offers benefits compared to older waste-collection products such as handheld pokers or trash grabbers thanks to its ability to quickly comb a wide area that contains a dispersed layout of waste. By easing the environmental biohazard clean-up process, the M-HAWK will contribute to correcting the Earth’s environmental plastic waste crisis and will offer the nature-minded a more efficient way to address pollution in their community.

[1] Parker, Laura. “How to Stop Discarded Face Masks from Polluting the Planet.” Environment, National Geographic, 4 May 2021,

The F-24: Remote Water Quality UAV

MEMBERS: Colin Beal, Rian Corr, Garrett Riedesel, Andre VanMeerhaeghe

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 106

This year, the Bronze Propeller Competition has assigned the mission of seizing a payload off of the ground during flight, without landing. With the freedom to determine the relevant payload specifications, Team F-24 has decided to take on the task of seizing a number of fishing floats with pH test strips attached to them from the ground during flight. We will be designing and building an aircraft with this task and its payload in mind. This mission is relevant to the conservation and nature industry, as it can often be difficult to access remote bodies of water to check for pH levels and water quality. This vehicle and payload combination would allow more frequent monitoring of delicate water ecosystems with as little wildlife disturbance as possible, rapid payload reacquisition, and robust water quality data due to the wide payload pickup range.

Construction of a Small on the Fly Emergency-Payload Capturing Aircraft

MEMBERS: Atul Chakka, Rohan Varma Dantuluri, Akim Niyonzima, Asutosh Panda, Christian Thompson

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 107

Fabricate a small on the fly payload capturing aircraft, to pick up medical packages at the identified locations for emergency situations requiring first aid. Efficiently carried out by exploring and selecting a design to maximize the number of payloads picked up, considering that the competition flight score depends on the number of pick-ups and Mission Value Factor. In consideration of all the constraints applied on the competition, multiple design analyses were applied to select the final design of a conventional aircraft. Furthermore, Vehicle design construction was done using different tooling designs and product designs to account for the trends and analysis performed using CAD.

Model Rocket Roll Stabilization Using Rotating Fins

MEMBERS: Manish Mahajan, David Alberto Nevarez-Saenz, Parth Sejpal, Jacob Wang

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 109

High powered rocketry is growing field of interest. Depending on personal interests or school projects, model rockets can be used for various purposes ranging from navigation to load deployment. But often the goal is to reach maximum apogee. Due to manufacturing defects, the forces acting on these rockets can become unsymmetrical, thus creating undesired roll. To reach the desired altitude, active control systems such as canards are used to control a rocket. But using canards in combination with a fixed tail, an inverse rolling moment can be induced due to the downwash effect from the canards. Our plan is to mitigate this issue using freely rotating fins thus, decoupling the roll control of the fins.


MEMBERS: Jonathan Carlson; Dylan Helms; Nicholas Kwasniak; Tabitha Mullins; Kristopher Stewart

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 110

Our dual propeller plane has been designed to utilize a hook to retrieve saliva sample tubes from a patient’s home. This allows potentially contagious patients to stay away from the public and have zero contact with medical staff to help prevent the spreading of dangerous viruses.

The Fregata

MEMBERS: Gaberial Booker; Sam Brickett; Paul Fawcett; Djavan Hairabedian; Lucas Moore

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 102

The purpose of our project was to develop a battery-powered, fixed-wing, retrieval solution to recover pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs), commonly used to track movements of marine animals, after they detach from the target animals.

Project Aether by SimplRocket

MEMBERS: Caleb Brown; Jackson Dahn; Noah Foster; Benjamin Reiling; David Timmons

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 103

Project Aether is an advanced take on a model rocket. Our rocket has the standard elements of rockets such as motors, fins, a fuselage, a nose cone, and a parachute. In addition to these common components, our team was tasked to adding an active control system to be able to change the altitude it would reach on a launch. For our mission, we created a rocket that will reach a maximum of 200 meters without the active control system being live. Then, the successive launches must be half of the height of the first launch. Our active control system is a flight controller that controls a servo attached to deploy drag flaps. The drag flaps automatically adjust further in and out of the fuselage depending on the controller's reading to cut the altitude by increasing drag. With this implemented, we have created a novel way for small-scale rockets to adjust to a desired altitude.

Test of the Walter Beech Wind Tunnel's Sensitivity to a Modified Cascade of Turning Vanes

MEMBERS: Alexander DeWerff; Jared Fournier; Gabe Kimuri; Trent Oberlander

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 113

The Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel (WBWT) is 7' x 10', subsonic wind tunnel, and is a NIAR lab located on WSU’s campus. The WBWT regularly conducts tests for customers around the nation, and it is one of the best wind tunnels of its classification. The director of the Beech Wind Tunnel plans to modify the turning vane cascade in Corner 1 (C1) but does not want to dramatically reduce the tunnel’s efficiency and range of operation. In partnership with the tunnel, then, this project was conducted to determine the sensitivity of the tunnel's efficiency to the quality of the C1 turning vane cascade. Modifications were designed and installed on the C1 turning vanes to model the anticipated reduction in efficiency, and the tunnel’s reduced top end capacity was measured.

Aerodynamics Effects on a Barn

MEMBERS: Akim Niyonzima; Trevor Perry; Christian Thompson

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 114

The investigation is in regard to aerodynamic problems associated with buildings exposed to high winds. The barn deformity indicates two major problems: (1) flow boundary layer separation and streamline on the barn surface, and (2) pressure distribution across the barn. A simple aerodynamic reinforcement of the barn could be devised to prevent the structural deformity of the barn due to high winds application on the barn.

The Batwing

MEMBERS: Josh Barker; Stefan Johnson; Trevor Perry; Sheik Sorwardi

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 111

To compete in the Bronze Propeller Competition, we designed this RC Aircraft to complete the mission of retrieving blood samples from an area away from the pilot. This allows the pilot to be quarantined away from a potentially infected area.

Fetch Quest: Data Acquisition

MEMBERS: Nelson Ghee; Sergio Kisaka; Zane Woltz; Wen Xuan Wong

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 115

An aircraft capable of swooping down and seizing a payload from the ground without landing is necessary for this year’s competition; With a twist of the mission being set by teams themselves. Our team has picked to acquire film canisters which may contain sensitive geopolitical data in the event of a global communication catastrophe.

An Investigation on the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Hybrid Lifting Body Airships

MEMBERS: Nathan Kulhanek; Sam Lindow; Nathaniel Richardson; Brycen Schroeder

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 116

This project hopes to expand the amount of publicly available wind tunnel data for hybrid lifting bodies. Primarily, it concerns the investigation of nondimensionalized aerodynamic parameters (Coefficients of lift, drag and moment), and how varying the aspect ratio by the introduction of additional lobes impacts these coefficients.

Water Tunnel Study of Separation Bubbles on a KFm-2 Flat Plate

MEMBERS: Cameron Cropper; Mitchell Klassen; Cade Mansfield; Gehad Qaki

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 117

A water tunnel study of flapping due to vortices developed in the shear layer on flat plates with backward-facing steps at varying Reynolds numbers with a goal of defining the Reynolds number ranges where flapping occurs and to quantify the reattachment length ranges when flapping does occur to assess its intensity.

SoBER: Sonic Boom Enhancement Research

MEMBERS: Trevor Fruci; Benjamin Griffin; Caleb Hemingway; Kale Macormic

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 112

The purpose of project SoBER is to validate the feasibility of a sonic boom enhancement device. Through characterization of the known types of shock-shock interactions, conclusions about the model geometry are drawn to determine which situations produce the most intense overpressure while minimizing thermal and structural effects on a body. Schlieren optics are used to visualize and thus characterize the flow around test models in a supersonic induction tunnel. Estimations of overpressure increase are further calculated based on shockwaves and their corresponding interactions to determine the effectiveness of the device.

Characterizing the Aerodynamic Forces of Emergency Release Descent Arrestor Sub-System (ERDAS)

MEMBERS: Emma Ahrenholtz; Henry Hartjes; Esmeralda Sanchez-Torres; Joe Sittenauer

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 118

The Emergency Release Descent Arrestor Sub-System (ERDAS) was designed to slow the fall of a tether and its connector system in free fall after an emergency tether release. To achieve this, understanding stability and high drag forces was required. While on the tether, stability is still necessary, however, the drag needs to be kept at a minimum. ERDAS was configured in the shape of a discus and is comprised of foam and plywood, which is connected to a standoff tube made up of PVC pipe with a dowel rod inserted. ERDAS was tested in the 3x4 wind tunnel to create an aerodynamic characterization of the required forces.

Aerodynamic Protection Fences

MEMBERS: Meghan Drake; Shanthan Garrepelli; Nathan Wahlstedt

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 119

Strong southerly winds blowing into an opening of a barn is creating a build up of stagnation pressure and potentially devastating structural loading. The idea is to try and redirect a good portion of the wind so that the pressure and structural loading on the barn is reduced. Our plan is to test two different methods of wind directing including a set of porous fences and a combination of a modeled dirt pile and the porous fences to achieve this. The fences are long, rectangular pieces with circular cutouts to achieve a variety of porosities. They will act as a barrier between the barn and the incoming winds to try and displace the streamlines vertically. The dirt combination will add height to the fences as well as an incline at the bottom to encourage the wind to move upwards. The best method and porosity will be determined through flow visualization in a water tunnel and pressure readings in a wind tunnel. 

Nerf Dart Aerodynamics

MEMBERS: Kamden Basinger; Andrew Esch; Precious Oyetunji; Harshita Rathore

ADVISOR: Dr. Brandon Buerge

TABLE: 120

The project attempts to compare the aerodynamic characteristics of a low speed projectile nerf dart. The team utilized a drop test method along with Newton's second law, F=ma, in order to find a way to eliminate even the smallest outside variables such as the atmosphere, damage to the darts over time, numerous variables with the nerf guns themselves, and others.

Re-Cycled Planes

MEMBERS: Megan Drake; Amanda Mudra

ADVISOR: Dr. Scott Miller

TABLE: 121

As engineers, keeping our environment and community in mind during design processes is of the utmost importance. For the aerospace department’s senior design course, students have the opportunity to build a small RC craft - unfortunately RC planes are quite expensive to produce and tend to be built with non-recyclable materials. Utilizing cardboard, though, we can minimize costs while maximizing utility. The cardboard plane built for this presentation was specifically designed to pick up biohazard boxes during cleanups to promote community safety and health. However, the cardboard craft was also built with modularity in mind - it has the ability to swap out wing shapes and other attachments so it can serve countless different purposes. Hopefully by introducing cardboard more heavily into the RC world, other every day, recyclable materials can start being incorporated and considered in the design process as well as reduce the costs and efforts to build an RC plane.