Aerospace Engineering graduate students honored for research, teaching

The work of four Department of Aerospace Engineering graduate students has been honored with Teaching Excellence and (TEX) and Research Excellence (REX) Awards from the Iowa State University Graduate College. The awards are presented to graduate students who demonstrate excellence in their scientific research or their performance in teaching.

Engineering graphicFangwei Hou and Xingeng Wu have received REX Awards and were nominated by Dr. Partha Sarkar and Dr. Anupam Sharma, respectively. The REX award recognizes graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments through their theses and dissertations.

Hou was recruited to the Department of Aerospace Engineering to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering in 2016 and has been under the supervision of Dr. Sarkar, who said he has performed exceptionally well in both his coursework and research, and in two graduate level courses he teaches. His dissertation work has focused on the “wind-induced vibration of tall buildings.” His work, supported by federal grants from National Science Foundation, includes studying the vibration and mitigation of oscillation in tall buildings. He will receive his Ph.D. in fall 2020.

Wu, who is co-advised by Sharma and Sarkar, received an M.S. in aerospace engineering from Iowa State in 2017 and has been working toward his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering since that time. He was cited for having one published research paper with two others in preparation at the time of his nomination. Sharma also pointed to Wu being a key contributor to National Science Foundation-supported research in combating the galloping effects of cables and power lines caused by high wind (a recently-published Iowa State University news story discussed this research). He is scheduled to receive his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering in the summer of 2020.

Computers in classroomRigelesayian Ji and Zichen Zhang have received TEX Awards and were nominated by Dr. Liming Xiong and Dr. Hui Hu, respectively. TEX awards are given to recognize outstanding achievement by graduate students in teaching.

Ji came to Iowa State in 2014 to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. Dr. Xiong heralded his teaching abilities, which were demonstrated in a number of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also singled out Ji’s leadership of a course that involved utilizing computer software and the increased competence his students exhibited. Ji is scheduled to receive his Ph.D. in fall 2020.

Zhang has taught two Department of Aerospace Engineering lab courses under the supervision of Dr. Hu. He  indicated the format of the lab courses allowed Zhang to act as an independent instructor of the laboratory sections and he performed in an excellent fashion with this and other responsibilities. Hu reported Zhang also made a significant impact on training of new teaching assistants and was generous in donating time to cover lab activities for other teaching assistants when necessary. He earned his M.S. in the spring of 2020 and is currently working toward his Ph.D., which is currently planned for spring 2022.