Inside Rensselaer
* Jessica Albernaz
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Hartford Graduate Student Wins Award at AIAA Region I-NE Student Conference
Hartford graduate student Jessica Albernaz, who graduated with an M.S. in mechanical engineering May 17, has won first place at the 2008 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region I-Northeast (NE) Student Paper Conference, for an 11-page paper titled “Bending Analysis of Laminated Composite Sandwich Plates Reinforced with Carbon Nanotube Forests.”

Albernaz attended the conference held at Clarkson University April 4-6 and gave a presentation based on her paper. She won first place in the master’s level and earned a cash prize of $500. In addition, she has been invited to present at the International AIAA Conference to be held in Orlando, Fla., in January 2009. At the International AIAA Conference, she will be representing AIAA Region I-NE.

The paper is based on her master’s thesis under the direction of Clinical Associate Professors Brice Cassenti and Ernesto Gutierrez-Miravete of the Department of Engineering and Science. “I am honored to have received this award and have found my education at Rensselaer through the EWP [Education for Working Professionals] program to be quite a rewarding experience,” said Albernaz. “The support and individual attention I received from my adviser while working on my thesis was exceptional, and enabled me to integrate my career with an enriching educational experience. Through my work on my thesis I discovered a renewed passion for aircraft and engine material design, particularly the rigors involved in creating newer, ever-lighter materials still capable of withstanding the demands of flight vehicles.”

Albernaz is a power plant performance monitoring engineer at Pratt & Whitney. She monitors in-flight engine performance for operating engines used by commercial airline customers. She receives and analyzes performance data daily for all flights of these engines, then provides alerts, repair recommendations, and applicable improvements to ensure optimal engine performance.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 10, June 6, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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