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Virginia Tech Places Top 3 in NASA Challenge
After a year-long effort to explore the use of urban and regional air mobility vehicles within firefighting scenarios, Virginia Tech’s three pinnacle design teams win top three positions in this year’s NASA Aviation College Design Challenge the university announced this week.
The annual design competition, sponsored by NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, gives student teams the opportunity to solve some of the biggest technological challenges facing the aviation industry today.
Virginia Tech teams have won top honors 11 times in the last 10 years. It is unprecedented to monopolize the top three places in one year.
Professor Pradeep Raj said mission and technical challenges are often system-centric rather than focused on a single vehicle, so incorporate design challenges into the classroom.
Raj said in a news release: “Designing an operational fleet opens up possibilities for different types of vehicles, different sizes, and propulsion systems. are required to investigate.”
The undergraduate curriculum at Virginia Tech’s Kevin T. Crofton School of Aerospace and Marine Engineering leads to a year of pinnacle design experience in the senior year. Aerospace engineering design courses use group design processes to better simulate how design is done in the real world and promote the benefits of collaborative learning.
Professor of Raj and Practice Wm. Michael Butler served as co-faculty instructor and advisor for the Aircraft Design Track within the Capstone Design course for the 2021-22 academic year.
Raj and Butler advised eight aircraft teams. In the end, he had three teams submit proposals to NASA, and of about a dozen college teams that participated, all three of his teams at Virginia Tech came out on top.
A team of students was asked to design a series of vehicles capable of collectively delivering 3,000 gallons of water to the fire scene in a single pass. The vehicle had to be able to collect water from local water sources such as lakes, rivers and seas, and required short vertical take-off and landing maneuvers. Helicopters are now used to reach these small water sources.
Colin Fischer, a recent graduate, served as team leader for H2AERO.
H2AERO’s fleet design focused on maximizing water supply and minimizing take-off distance while maintaining energy use, cost and noise standards suitable for regional air mobility. The aircraft’s very short or vertical takeoff and landing capabilities allow it to bridge the gap between the U.S. Forest Service’s traditional takeoff and landing fixed-wing aircraft and vertical takeoff and landing helicopters. A fleet of four aircraft has access to small bodies of water via proprietary scoop tubes and distributed electric propulsion that creates high lift, delivering 750 gallons of water per vehicle and 3,000 gallons per pass.
Team IRIS, led by recent graduate Ben Judelson, designed an aerial firefighting system consisting of a remotely piloted lead plane and eight manned water wagons.
Firefighting Gobbler, led by Michael Deitch, proposes ‘The Flock’, a 6-aircraft aerial firefighting system capable of very short or vertical take-offs and landings that meet requirements in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner Did.
Three Virginia Tech teams were invited to visit the NASA Langley Research Center in the Hamptons in October to share their research first-hand.
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MECC Receives Federal Grant to Start Health Information Technology Data Analysis Certificate Program
Mountain Empire Community College has received an $887,676 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of Health Resources Services Administration to develop and deliver a career research certification program in health information technology data analytics, the school announced this week. Did.
This program is designed to help healthcare professionals develop healthcare business data management skills through database management, change, and project management strategies. Health IT data analysts work in hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, clinical research, consulting firms, and other health-related facilities.
Starting this fall, the Data Analyst Program will run over two semesters. Its purpose is to provide advanced data and project management training to health information management graduates to advance their careers and create room for entry-level employees to enter the industry.
MECC is the only community college in Virginia to receive an HHS award. This is part of an approximately $60 million federal investment to expand the healthcare workforce and increase access to quality healthcare in rural areas, with approximately $46 million in funding from American Rescue. It is included. plan.
This grant will be used for faculty costs, curriculum development, and student scholarships for three years.
For more information on the program, please contact Nora Blankenbecler at 276-523-9054 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional program information is available online.
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Virginia Tech and Zimbabwe team lead discovery and naming of Africa’s oldest known dinosaur
An international team of paleontologists led by Virginia Tech has discovered and named a new early dinosaur, the university announced Wednesday.
The mostly intact skeleton was discovered by graduate students in the Virginia Tech School of Earth Sciences and other paleontologists during two excavations in 2017 and 2019.
The discovery of this new sauropodomorph — a long-necked dinosaur — was newly named Mbiresaurus raathi and was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. This skeleton is the oldest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Africa. This animal is estimated to be 6 feet long with a long tail. Weight ranged from 20 to 65 pounds. A human skeleton missing a hand and part of a skull has been found in northern Zimbabwe.
The team’s findings show that Mbilesaurus stood on two legs and had a relatively small head, much like its dinosaur relatives. It has small serrated triangular teeth, suggesting it may be a herbivore or an omnivore.
Christopher Griffin, who graduated with his PhD in 2020, said, “The discovery of Mbilesaurus lahti fills a critical geographic gap in the earliest dinosaur fossil record and provides predictions about our ancient past. shows the power of hypothesis-driven fieldwork to test D. holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Virginia Tech School of Science and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.
“These are the oldest definitive dinosaurs in Africa, about the same age as the oldest dinosaurs found anywhere in the world,” said Griffin. ‘s oldest dinosaurs are extremely rare and have only been found in a few places around the world, mainly in northern Argentina, southern Brazil and India.”
The international team central to the discovery included paleontologists from the Zimbabwe National Museum and Monuments, the Zimbabwe Museum of Natural History and the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil.
Discovered alongside Mbilesaurus were herrerasaurid dinosaurs, early mammalian relatives such as cynodonts, armored crocodile relatives such as Aetosaurus, and, in Griffin’s account, known as Rhinkosaurus. It was an assortment of Carnian-era fossils, including “strange, archaic reptiles.” From this same period in South America and India.
Many Mbilesaurus specimens are kept at Virginia Tech’s Delling Hall for skeletal cleaning and study. All Mbilesaurus skeletons and additional found fossils are permanently stored at the Zimbabwe Museum of Natural History.
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Children’s Musical Comes to Radford University
The auditions have closed and the cast for the annual performance at Radford University has been decided.
For a younger audience: “Rainbow Fish Musical”.
The play is a cautionary tale about vanity and self-importance, inspired by popular children’s stories.
The book “The Rainbow Fish” by Swiss author and illustrator Marcus Pfister.
Robin Berg, associate professor and stage veteran, will direct and choreograph the show. Dylan Jones plays the lead role, with Sarah Lindsey Merriman as the minnow and Sydney Pepper as the octopus. His other three actors play his two roles. George Fenimore plays Starfish and Miss His Minnow, Zoe Keith plays Sardine and Clownfish, and Pufferfish and Hermit Crab are played by Olivia Nargi. Graduate student Cole Butler is the music director, and his senior Drew Maggio is the assistant director. Senior Megan Cox will serve as her manager on stage.
Performances will take place on November 12th at 10am and 2pm and on November 13th at 2pm at the Bondurant Auditorium in Preston Hall on the main campus in Radford. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for children. Admission is free for Radford University students. Faculty tickets are $6.