Air Apparent
A close-up look at UTSA’s wind tunnel, a project that’s now powering even more research



• A class of mechanical engineering students build the wind tunnel, which won in a tech symposium.
• Project was initially designed to test how turbulence affects airplane wings.
• Professor who oversaw the student build would like to see more departments use the project for their own research.

FROM THE Spring 2017 ISSUE

After nabbing the top prize in the mechanical engineering category at UTSA’s College of Engineering Senior Tech Symposium, a student-crafted wind tunnel is now furthering research into aerodynamics. Under mechanical engineering professor Victor Maldonado, students are studying how turbulence affects airplane wings.

Maldonado says, though, that the wind tunnel’s potential doesn’t end there. He hopes that as studies using it advance, other university researchers find ways to harness the device’s potential, especially for collaboration across disciplines.

Maldonado, whose students helped to design and build the machine as a two-year class project, has described the function of the component parts for Sombrilla Magazine.