Missouri S&T grad student earns Amelia Earhart Fellowship

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On September 7, 2017

Aslihan Vuruskan, recipient of the Amelia Earhart Fellowship.

Aslihan Vuruskan, a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has earned an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from the Zonta International Foundation. Vuruskan is one of only 35 recipients of the award, which is given to a select group of women from around the world who demonstrate a superior academic record in the aerospace-related sciences or engineering fields.

This fellowship gives women the opportunity to continue their work in aerospace doctoral programs and includes a $10,000 award. In an effort to carry out its mission that women have access to all resources and are represented in decision-making positions on an equal basis with men, Zonta International offers this fellowship annually to 35 applicants.

Vuruskan uses advanced numerical methods on high-performance computers to aerodynamically optimize aircraft wing shape to reduce drag. Reducing drag increases aircraft performance by reducing the fuel consumption. This work will decrease operational costs for airlines and lower the emission of greenhouse gases.

Vuruskan works to design an aerodynamic plane wing that will maintain optimum performance under varying aircraft speeds. She uses high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics tools, gradient-based optimization algorithms and efficient uncertainty quantification methods to improve current models. Her research, which is partially funded by NASA, is conducted at Missouri S&T’s Aerospace Simulations Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Serhat Hosder, associate professor of aerospace engineering at S&T.

The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. Since the program’s inception, Zonta has awarded 1,543 Amelia Earhart Fellowships to 1,114 women representing 72 countries. Fellows have gone on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, astronomers, professors, geologists, business owners and heads of companies.

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