The College of Engineering wind tunnels are getting $1.7 million in upgrades from the United States Department of Defense, which will boost the capabilities of high-speed aerodynamics research.
With the designation of the university as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, 2019 was the first time researchers could apply for funding from the Department of Defense's Minority-Serving Institutions science program. Through the program, assistant professor Stuart "Alex" Craig received $450,000 from the Office of Naval Research, and Jesse Little, associate professor and associate department head for graduate studies, received $600,000 from the Army Research Office.
In addition, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research awarded $125,000 to Craig, $285,000 to Little and $245,655 to AME professor Hermann Fasel as part of the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.
"Hypersonics is a key part of the university's strategic plan," Little said. "Our department has a legacy in fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, and we are building on decades' worth of research done by colleagues. When we're done, across a few different facilities, we will be able to experiment from Mach 0 to Mach 5, at scales relevant for real problems, not just theoretical ones."