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May 5, 2008
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Rensselaer Graduate Student Wins First Place Award at AIAA Region I-NE Student Conference

HARTFORD, CONN Jessica Albernaz is a current student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Hartford Campus scheduled to graduate this May with a Master of Science (M.S.) in Mechanical Engineering degree. She has won first place for an 11-page paper entitled, “Bending Analysis of Laminated Composite Sandwich Plates Reinforced with Carbon Nanotube Forests,” which she submitted to the 2008 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region I-Northeast (NE) Student Paper Conference.

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

The paper is based on her Rensselaer master's thesis. “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 advisor 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 Powerplant 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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Updated: 2014-08-05, 13:08