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MAE Students received the 2020 Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award

Two of our undergraduate students received the 2020 Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award by HKUST Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Mr. Shihua, Mingzhi (James), a Yr-3 BEng(AE) student, supervised by  Prof. Rhea Liem has been awarded with the Champion for a project entitled "Designing Novel Efficient and Quiet Amphibious Aircraft for General Aviation".   Mr.  Yu Tsz Tat (Jacky), a Yr-3 BEng(MECH) & (SUSE) student, supervised by Prof. Prof. Francesco Ciucci has been awarded with the Second Runner-up prize and the Best Poster Award for a project entitled  "Polymer Composite Batteries". The award presentation ceremony was held via Zoom on 5 June 2020. 

Congratulations to Jacky and James!

About the projects:

  • Designing Novel Efficient and Quiet Amphibious Aircraft for General Aviation (by Shihua, Mingzhi (Year 3 BEng (AE))

Amphibious aircraft has been posting significant engineering challengers for aircraft design engineers due to its multidisciplinary complexity. Also, research about it is far from comprehensive and is fragmentary. In our project, we proposed a standardised design and testing framework for amphibious aircraft so that development process can be accelerated and more data can be used for further research. This research project also collaborates with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In the framework of our project, the first step is to obtain data for the amphibious aircraft. We did both experiments , that is towing tests in a water tank, and CFD simulation to efficiently obtain the data of its hydrodynamic characteristics. Then, we built the data into a surrogate model to analyse the performance of the aircraft. Last but not least, the surrogate model will be used to solve the dynamic equations of water take-off run of the amphibious aircraft.

  • Polymer Composite Batteries (by YU Tsz Tat, Year 3  BEng (MECH))

Solid-state Li-metal batteries are promising for sustainable energy, but there are technical challenges. In the project, a novel dual-salt solid-state polymer electrolyte composed of lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI), lithium bis(oxalate)borate (LiBOB) salt and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) polymer is developed. The electrolyte is highly compatible with Li-metal anodes and LiFePO4 (LFP) cathodes. The resultant battery exhibits excellent cyclic stability, thermal stability, discharge capacity, and coulombic efficiency at a wide range of temperatures.

More information: 

Full list of Awardees - 2020 Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award
Video for the award presentation ceremony via Zoom

The story of Champion (Mr. Shihua Mingzhi, James) on SENG facebook
The story of Champion (Mr. Shihua Mingzhi, James) on SENG instragram