Aerospace engineering graduate student receives NDSEG Fellowship

Chris Spallino
July 21, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Belen Veras-Alba, doctoral student in the Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, recently received a 2017 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.

Sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the NDSEG Fellowship is a highly competitive fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of 15 supported disciplines, including aeronautical and astronautical engineering. NDSEG selections are made by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, and the Army Research Office.

Veras-Alba’s current research, under the supervision of Jose Palacios, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, involves using computational fluid dynamics to model the interaction between low-pressure compression fans and jet engine casings where ice has been experimentally determined to accrete. The fundamental understanding of the physics involved on the accretion of partially melted ice crystals inside of engines will assist with the design of future engine configurations that will prevent such events.

Her previous research focused on the study of deformation and breakup of supercooled large droplets to gain knowledge of the ice accretion chord-extent limits, which is critical for the design of ice protection system coverage for lifting surfaces.

Veras-Alba was the recipient of an American Helicopter Society (AHS) International Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship in 2016. She also is a member of the Penn State chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau, a national aerospace engineering honor society; Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society; and the Penn State chapter of AHS International, where she serves as outreach coordinator.

NDSEG fellowships last for four years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance. The DoD has awarded nearly 3,400 NDSEG fellowships since the program's inception in 1989.

  • Belen Veras-Alba, doctoral student in aerospace engineering

    Belen Veras-Alba, doctoral student in aerospace engineering

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated September 05, 2017