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01-15-2016

Clarkson University Clarkson School Student Named Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist

Clarkson School student Scott Bollt of Potsdam, N.Y., has been named an Intel Science Talent Search 2016 semifinalist.

Scott BolltThe Clarkson School is Clarkson University’s early college entrance program, which provides exceptional high school age students with a full academic year of residency-based interdisciplinary education, typically before they would have graduated high school.

As a semifinalist, Bollt has received a $1,000 award with an additional $1,000 award for his high school. The national science competition also has honored Bollt with the Research Report Badge and Student Initiative Badge for his project "Aircraft Gust Suppression by Feed-forward Lift Control and Laser Anemometry."

Bollt's research focuses on developing a method to reduce the effects of atmospheric turbulence on aircraft. He said people who have a fear of flying might incorrectly associate feelings of turbulence with danger, so reducing turbulence would improve their experience.

"The most noticeable benefit would be much, much more comfortable plane rides for passengers, which would help potential flyers feel more relaxed, more secure and less airsick," he said. "It would also benefit airline companies because they would get more demand for rides on their planes."

While other systems to reduce the effects of atmospheric turbulence exist, Bollt said his project is unique in that it is inexpensive, small and doesn't require much power to use, allowing it to be used on a wider variety of aircraft.

Bollt is now working on making the program for gust suppression more advanced so it can account for more factors during flight. He is developing a laser system that will greatly increase the accuracy, speed and operating range of the system, as well as make it more practical.

Bollt said what he enjoys most about studying aeronautical engineering is the combination of theory and experimentation and the opportunity to see his work in action.

"I've liked aeronautical engineering for a long time because you can create something that actually flies," he said. "Most of the stuff you're working with is very powerful, and some of it is very large. Whenever big numbers are involved, I'm happy."

Bollt has won the regional science fair in Syracuse, N.Y., for the past four years, advancing to the Intel International Science Fair three times. He has won prizes at the science fair for the past two years, including third place in his category and a prize from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 2015.

The Intel Science Talent Search is the nation's oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition, bringing together young scientific minds in the United States for 75 years. Each of the 300 semifinalists receives a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation with an additional $1,000 going to his or her school, for a total of $600,000 in semifinalist awards.

The competition overall awards $1.6 million to provide the opportunities and resources that students need to become the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs and STEM professionals. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson School student Scott Bollt of Potsdam, N.Y., works on his project to reduce the effects of gust on an aircraft that cause atmospheric turbulence. Bollt has been named an Intel Science Talent Search 2016 semifinalist.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/sbollt.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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