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Clarkson University Senior Places Third In Student Research Paper Competition At Princeton

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Thomson presented two papers at the conference. The first paper was titled “Assessment of Visual Stabilization for Controlling Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.” Assistant professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Piergiovanni Marzocca advised Thomson on this paper. Thomson’s second paper was titled “Development of an Evolutionary Neuro Controller for Autonomous Control Under Various Flight Conditions.” Clarkson university associate professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, Ratneshwar Jha co-authored the paper and advised Thomson on the research. Clarkson students present seven papers at the competition with topics ranging from wing design to jet-rocket launch systems to inflatable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). thomsonj

The conference concluded with an awards luncheon. MIT clinched both 1st and 2nd place at the AIAA event. Thomson received $250.00 for his third place finish. “Our students had very strong research papers,” said Jha. “I am pleased that Clarkson finished ahead of Princeton, Cornell, Syracuse and Dartmouth, RPI and West Point.” Kenneth D. Visser, AIAA faculty advisor and associate professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, traveled to the conference with the Clarkson students. Clarkson will host the AIAA Student Paper Competition in 2008.

One of the highlights of the awards luncheon was a presentation by Brian Binnie, pilot for the recent X-prize winner, Spaceship One. Binnie treated his audience to video and anecdotes of the historic flight. On June 21, 2004, Spaceship One, became the first private-venture craft to leave the earth's atmosphere and enter space, defined as an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles). The aircraft reached an altitude of 338,941 feet.

PHOTO CAPTION: Clarkson University associate professor Ratnashwar Jha,(L) senior Joel Thomson (C)and assistant professor Piergiovanni Marzocca (R) discuss their aeronautics research. Thomson finished 3rd in the AIAA Northeast Region 1 Student Paper Competition held April 22-23 at Princeton University in New Jersey.

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