Student Work in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Undergraduate students get hands-on experience through our Student Projects in Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) teams, including the Design, Build, Fly team, which competes in the international American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Competition every year. Undergraduate MAE students of any year can join one of the 12 SPEED teams, such as FIRST Robotics, Baja SAE, Concrete Canoe, Formula SAE, SAE Clean Snowmobile and Human-Powered Vehicle.
Graduate students, as well as many undergraduates, actively participate in research projects. Many of our undergraduates present their work at local, national and even international conferences; some do enough work to warrant co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications.
Students also participate in K-12 outreach organizations, such as the Clarkson chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which conducts a Micro RC Fly-In for local high school students.
Recent Student Achievements
- For the third time in the past four years, Clarkson's SAE diesel snowmobile team won the Clean Snowmobile Challenge. The team won the Best Design Award and also placed first in best fuel efficiency, in-service emissions and best handling. Co-leader of the team was mechanical and aerospace engineering student Alex Rodriguez '23.
- Megan Michaud, an undergraduate researcher in Clarkson’s Astronautics and Robotics Laboratory, received the NASA New York Space Grant Women in STEM Fellowship to design a satellite testbed for emulation of small spacecraft orbital motion.
- Syed Bazif, a junior Clarkson mechanical engineering student, was awarded the National Grid “Charging Our Future” Diversity Equity and Inclusion Engineering Scholarship. He received $10,000 with a paid internship opportunity.
- A student design team is developing a design for a walkway that the Potsdam Rotary Club will build for the Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence camp at Dodge Pond in Adirondack Park near the town of Fine.
- Clarkson's Design of Aerospace Structures class continues its third year of aerospace engineering students collaborating with aviation museums across the United States and Canada.
- A student team is developing a site plan for property owned by the Fort La Présentation Association. The location is considered the founding settlement of the City of Ogdensburg, which grew around the fort in the post-Colonial years. Previously, two teams of Clarkson student engineers designed a bridge for the historic site.
- Mechanical engineering graduate student Nagarajan Radhakrishnan won the award for best poster at the American Association for Aerosol Research. His research is about designing and developing aerosol sampling inlets for research aircraft to efficiently sample a wide range of particles from the stratosphere.
- A mechanical and aerospace engineering team is working with a civil engineering team headed by Erik Backus, director of the Construction Engineering Management Program, to design a way to revise the powerhouse for the Potsdam Dam hydroelectric facility.
- The senior aerospace engineering design class took two tours of the Beta Technologies aircraft company. They toured a test flight facility at the Plattsburgh, New York, airport and later toured Beta’s main engineering and manufacturing facility in Burlington, Vermont. These visits help students make connections between their coursework and real-world engineering.
- A team is undertaking an assessment of electrically powered vehicles, considering end-to-end environmental issues including weight (EVs are heavier than internal combustion vehicles), the environmental impact of the increased demand placed on the electrical grid, the availability of battery components for Li-ion batteries and the environmental impact of mining lithium.
- Clarkson aerospace engineering professors Craig Merrett and Marcias Martinez recently won a $1.43M equipment grant from the Office of Naval Research. The grant will enable the acquisition of advanced material testing equipment for polymers, composites and metals. Researchers and graduate students will be able to test materials from -40⁰C to 1200⁰C and for a range of moisture levels.