After they wrap up spring classes with Dr Graham Doig (far left), student wind tunnel
engineers (left to right) Tyler Miles, Riess Haslam, and Brandon Baldovin are heading to the promised land of aerodynamic research and development, NASA Ames Research Center, for summer internships.
NASA’s contractor, Jacobs, selected the trio from the Aerospace
Engineering Department in a new partnership designed to provide opportunities
to students coming through Cal Poly’s innovative project-based curriculum in
aerodynamics. Riess and Brandon will be working with several Cal Poly alums in
the massive transonic/supersonic Unitary Plan facility, while Tyler will be
working on a variety of projects in the Fluid Mechanics Lab under the guidance
of good friend of the aero department, Kurt Long.
Dr. Doig said “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from NASA about the big
changes we’ve been making in our wind tunnel lab – modernizing instrumentation,
having all our students take on more responsibility for planning tests and
procedures, and running a wide variety of creative and complex test projects
like the awesome work that Cal Poly’s Prototype Vehicles Lab (PROVE Lab) is
currently doing in designing the world’s fastest solar-powered vehicle”.
Doig has been working with Brandon Baldovin on a unique project looking at bird wing tip aerodynamics, and Riess Haslam is not only leading up PROVE Lab’s aerodynamic team but has also volunteered and
worked in the wind tunnel lab for a year, helping to characterize and improve
the air flow quality. Additionally, Riess is a teaching assistant for the
junior-level “Experimental Aerodynamics” course, where he is helping Tyler to
complete tests at a standard that will prepare him for industry.
Ames Research Center is home to the world’s largest wind tunnel, as
well as an epic array of other aerodynamic facilities where every major
American aircraft and spacecraft developed over the last 50 years will have
been tested. There’s no shortage of Mustangs working there, and with
Brandon, Riess and Tyler now on their way, long may that continue! We’ll check
in with them after summer to hear about their adventures.