A team of MSOE students took second place at the AIAA Engine Design Competition for their proposal, Dream Steam Propulsion System.

The competition required students to design a hybrid-electric air-breathing propulsion system using fuselage boundary layer ingestion for a single-aisle commercial aircraft. The team, comprised of mechanical engineering students Cade Beckman, Izaiah Dietrich, Michael Gavin, Devon Lallensack and Mia Mattingly, created this project as to fulfill the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design requirements.

For their project, the students utilized a commercial engine design software package to design an engine-fan system for a single-aisle commercial aircraft that reduced fuel consumption and increased efficiency over existing engine architectures. A key accomplishment of the work was sizing and integrating an electrically driven aft fan to provide additional thrust by accelerating the slow-moving air near the aircraft fuselage surface in order to reduce the drag experienced by the aircraft. The work involved completing numerous trade studies to intelligently select the optimal combination of engine design parameters that helped meet the teams’ objectives.

A total of 13 teams from around the world submitted proposals to the competition and three finalists were then invited to present their work to a panel of academic and industry experts at the AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition.

Dr. Prabhakar Venkateswaran, associate professor and the team’s faculty mentor, shared MSOE’s team was unique because it was not comprised of aerospace engineering students, unlike many of the other teams that entered the competition.

“Our students only encountered the background technical content for the project through elective courses they took in the same year that they embarked on the project, whereas students coming from aerospace engineering programs encounter the material well before their fourth years,” said Venkateswaran. “As a result, placing second is a remarkable achievement that is a testament to the students’ hard work and ability to learn and apply new knowledge quickly.”