Students earn multiple honors at regional aerospace conference

April 18, 2012

Starkville, Miss. – Aerospace students from the Bagley College of Engineering brought home multiple awards from the recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region II conference in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Hosted by the student chapters from Embry-Riddle University and the Florida Institute of Technology, the event featured more than 240 participants from 13 universities in the Southeast. Top three finishers from this regional competition will go on to compete at the upcoming AIAA international competition.

“All of our students have been exemplary delegates to this year’s conference and are to be congratulated for the way they presented their work,” said Thomas Hannigan, faculty adviser for MSU’s student chapter. “They have reflected great credit on our program, our college and our university.”

Winners from the Bagley College include:

Tibor Pechan, a senior, won the event’s highest honor, the Stan Powell Award for Engineering Excellence, for his paper “Design and Analysis of an Active Leading Edge Wing.” This award is presented for the best undergraduate research paper and presentation.

Tim McGrath and Dallas Aasand came in first in the freshmen category for “Engineering Ethics.” Joshua Dupont earned a second place finish for “Use of UAVs in Future Aerial Firefighting.”

The Space Cowboys Rocket Team placed first in the outreach competition with its paper “Mississippi State University Space Cowboys Community Outreach,” presented by Blair Schumacher, senior; Mary Kate Smith, senior; and Paromita Mitra, junior.

The team also tied for third place in the regional design competition for “A Rocket-Deployed Atmosphere Monitoring and Profiling System,” presented by Schumacher, Smith, James Kelly, senior; and Brian Kohler, senior.

AIAA consist of seven regions. Region II includes sections and members from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The national organization was founded in 1963 and currently boasts 35,000 members, making it the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space and defense. For more information visit,

More information about the department of aerospace engineering can be found at, Information about the Bagley College of Engineering is available at