College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Four Aerospace Engineering graduate students honored with teaching, research awards

Four Department of Aerospace Engineering graduate students have been awarded Teaching Excellence and (TEX) and Research Excellence (REX) Awards from the Iowa State University Graduate College. The awards are presented annually to graduate students who demonstrate excellence in these areas.

Xiaosong Du and Andrew Bodling were nominated for REX Awards by Dr. Leifur Leifsson and Dr. Anupam Sharma, respectively. The REX award is to recognize graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments through their thesis and dissertations.

Bodling is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering, currently working through a full NSF fellowship from the Wind Energy Science and Policy (WESEP) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at ISU. While at Iowa State, Bodling discovered the mechanisms that enable the silent flight of the night owl through meticulous, high-fidelity computational analyses.

Andrew Bodling and Dr. Anupam Sharma
Andrew Bodling (right) and Dr. Anupam Sharma

Du is a Ph.D. candidate working with Dr. Leifsson in metamodeling, optimal design, inversion and uncertainty propagation for computation applications. In nominating Du, Leifsson cited that Du had developed several algorithms and codes, published 21 conference papers, and one journal paper.

Xiaosong Du and Dr. Leifur Leifsson
Xiaosong Du (left) and Dr. Leifur Leifsson

Nianhong Han and Thanh Phan were nominated for TEX awards by Dr. Joseph Schaefer and Dr. Azadeh Sheidaei, respectively. TEX awards are given to recognize outstanding achievement by graduate students in teaching, and it’s intended to recognize up to 10% of graduate students involved in teaching each year.

Han is a graduate student who began teaching EM (Engineering Mechanics) 327 in the fall semester of 2018. Dr. Shaefer felt Nianhong’s “professionalism, personality, courtesy and ability to explain experimental procedures to students” make him worthy of the recognition this award brings.

Nianhong Han and Dr. Joseph Schaefer
Nianhong Han (left) and Dr. Joseph Schaefer

Phan is a graduate student currently teaching AerE (Aeropsace Engineering) 421. Phan’s main responsibility is to help with using ANSYS software in the lab every week and to help students with troubleshooting. Dr. Sheidaei wrote that Phan demonstrated every positive aspect that is desired in a graduate student serving as a teaching assistant.

Thanh Phan and Dr. Azadeh Sheidaei
Thanh Phan (left) and Dr. Azadeh Sheidaei

Recipients of these awards receive a letter of commendation from ISU President Wendy Wintersteen, a certificate of achievement, and an honor cord to be worn during graduation ceremonies.