OCTOBER 19, 2021 — UTSA’s investment in a million-dollar hypersonic wind tunnel is paying dividends with another innovative research opportunity in the works.
Christopher Combs, Dee Howard Endowed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering and Integrated Design, recently secured a two-year, $1.5 million grant to study modeling and experimental measurements of hypersonic separation events.
The grant comes from the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (UCAH) in collaboration with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office. UTSA is part of a group of leading research institutions that was awarded funding to advance hypersonic research.
Combs will be leading the project in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Tennessee, Southwest Research Institute and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Combs is also the director of the UTSA Hypersonics Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which recently installed a 60-foot Mach 7 Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel. This technology enables UTSA to contribute important scientific findings on the effects of travel faster than the speed of sound.
Current computer models struggle to replicate the testing conditions in a high Mach number wind tunnel. UTSA’s Ludwieg Tube Wind Tunnel will capture and measure the aerodynamic effects experienced by motor stages, boosters or protective shrouds when they separate at hypersonic speeds. The findings from Combs and his student research team will help advance the design of aerospace vehicles traveling at hypersonic speeds.
“Separation events are such a complex part of the hypersonic flight challenge,” Combs said. “It’s exciting to use the state-of-the-art experimentation available in our Hypersonics Lab to build a database to help develop computational models that will improve vehicle design.”
The grant also provides for experiential learning opportunities at UTSA. One graduate research assistant position and two undergraduate research assistant positions at UTSA will be part of this project over the next three years with additional students funded at the partner institutions.
“The neat thing about this UCAH research is that this will be student-centric, and this project will help us train the next generation of leaders in hypersonic research while solving real-world problems,” Combs said.
“This research opportunity is another example of UTSA’s growing footprint in aerospace due to our investments in the Hypersonics Laboratory,” added JoAnn Browning, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering and Integrated Design. “Under Combs’ leadership, UTSA will be in a position to attract additional hypersonic-related funding opportunities, along with attracting top students to be part of the program.”
UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
San Antonio’s treasured Asian Festival returns on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Downtown Campus. In observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month the one-day performance, entertainment, and food event will celebrate the diverse Asian diaspora represented in South Texas and San Antonio. Come and enjoy one of San Antonio’s premier family-friendly events, with hands-on activities and opportunities to learn through experience.UTSA Downtown Campus
The Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish (TeCHS) seeks to provide a cooperative platform to support the success of Spanish heritage language speakers and their communities in Texas, assisting and promoting bicultural and bilingual development in the state.River Walk Room (DBB 1.124,) Durango Building, Downtown Campus
Dr. Michael Doyle has had an immense impact on the field of catalysis and organic chemistry. Join in a one-day symposium. In order to honor Dr. Doyle’s colossal career accomplishments with his upcoming retirement, we are holding a one day symposium eventRiklin Auditorium (FS 1.406,) Frio Street Building, Downtown Campus
The NHERI Summer Institute is a free event for early-career faculty, NHERI Graduate Student Council, K-12 educators from the San Antonio area, engineers, and researchers to learn more about the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) community.La Villita Room (DBB 1.116,) Durango Building, Main Campus
Building the Dual Language Leader Symposium will provide a safe space for current and aspiring leaders to learn best practices, theories, policies, and systems that support a dual language bilingual education.UTSA Southwest Campus, 300 Augusta St.
Streaming of Spray the Word that will conclude with a discussion with San Antonio's Poet Laureate, Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson.Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328,) Buena Vista Street Building, Downtown Campus
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at our very own street fair - Calle UTSA. We will have activities, performances, food, music, and pinatas to break open! All free to UTSA students, faculty, and staff.Student Union Paseo, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.