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A technical paper about sonic boom prediction written by Isik Ali Ozcer, a first-year doctoral student in aerospace engineering at Old Dominion University's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, has won first place in a regional competition of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Ozcer prevailed in the AIAA mid-Atlantic regional masters competition at Penn State University in April. The region also includes Johns Hopkins University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Maryland and the National Institute of Aerospace.

He is among the graduate students who have participated in the award-winning sonic boom prediction and mitigation work of Osama Kandil, eminent scholar and professor of aerospace engineering at the Batten College. Ozcer is perhaps better known around the ODU campus for his weekend musical performances at Port City Java, a coffee shop in the University Village.

Along with a plaque, he received a $500 prize and expenses to travel to Reno, Nev., in January to represent the mid-Atlantic region in the national AIAA competition. His paper is titled "Sonic Boom Prediction Using Euler/Full Potential Methodology."

"It is a new computational method to predict the noise of supersonic aircraft," he explained. "The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow today's supersonic aircraft to fly over land because of such noise. Our work can expedite the research on reducing this noise by providing accurate sonic boom predictions for complicated conceptual designs before they need to be manufactured and flight tested."

Ozcer said the ultimate goal of the work is to get "low-noise" supersonic business jets in service-flying both over water and land. "There is a big competition among the United States, France and Japan at the moment for this aircraft. Whoever builds it first will dominate a huge market."

As for his gigs as a guitarist and singer, he said he is not ready yet to call himself a professional. "I've been playing and singing with my friend Hector Garcia," who is a visualization lab manager for ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center. "It is our weekly therapy, really, where we provide some relaxing background music for those who come in to read or study."

James Leahy, a master's student in aerospace engineering and president of ODU's AIAA chapter, won third place in the AIAA regional competition with a masters division technical paper titled "An Update on Progress Towards a Working Five Degree of Freedom Magnetic Suspension and Balance System."

This article was posted on: May 17, 2006

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