Engineering students receive Vertical Flight Foundation scholarships

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) recently awarded Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) scholarships to three Penn State engineering students.

Jason Cornelius, aerospace engineering senior, is the recipient of the Bell Helicopter Vertical Flight Scholarship; Ahmad Haidar, aerospace engineering doctoral candidate, is the recipient of the Barnes McCormick Memorial Scholarship; and Michael Trowbridge, mechanical engineering master’s degree student and graduate research assistant at the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE), is the recipient of the John J. Schneider Scholarship.

This year, VFF scholarships totaling $90,000 were awarded to 25 of the world’s most talented engineering students interested in vertical flight. The awardees were recognized during the Grand Awards Banquet at the AHS International – VFS 74th Annual Forum and Technology Display in May in Phoenix.

“The individuals who are selected for the prestigious VFF scholarships are truly the ‘best and brightest’ vertical flight students in the entire world,” said Edward Smith, professor of aerospace engineering and VLRCOE director. “They represent the future leaders in a highly technical and nationally important field. As such, we are so very proud of these students and heartily recognize their achievement.”

Several Penn State aerospace engineering faculty members and engineering alumni also received awards at the forum.

Jack Langelaan, associate professor of aerospace engineering, and Jose Palacios, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, received the Best Paper Award in the Test & Evaluation Session for their paper titled “Experimental Evaluation of Multi-rotor UAV Operation under Icing Conditions.”

Zachary Cameron, a research engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center who earned a master of science in aerospace engineering from Penn State in 2017; Smith; Robert Bill, research associate at VLRCOE; and Hans DeSmidt, professor of mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee who earned a master's degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering at Penn State in 2004 and 2005, respectively, received the Best Paper Award in the Propulsion Session for their paper titled “Design Space Exploration of Pericyclic Transmission with Counterbalance and Bearing Load Analysis.”

A team of Penn State students also competed in the sixth annual Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge at the forum.

Formally the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, VFS is the world’s premier professional vertical flight technical society. Since its inception in 1943, the society has provided an international forum through which to expand the body of knowledge of vertical flight.

The VFF was established in 1967 as the philanthropic arm of the society. Since 1977, the merit-based scholarship program has awarded more than 500 scholarships.

Last Updated July 17, 2018