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Mechanical engineering junior Yit Akyuz won second place among undergraduate students at the Young Professional, Student, and Education Conference (YPSE), held by the Mid-Atlantic section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) on Nov. 2, for his research on “Using Dielectric Electro Active Polymer Sensors to Detect Pressure Change over a Smooth Surface.”

Akyuz began researching DEAP sensors this past summer when he began a research assistantship with Professor and Associate Dean of Research Alison Flatau.  Ph.D. aerospace engineering student Lina Castano, who had been working with the sensors for a year, mentored Akyuz and taught him how to assemble and test the sensors. 
Research Associate Professor Xinan Liu helped Akyuz run test in the wind tunnel inside the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

While Akyuz knew that his research would interest the judges, he was both proud and shocked that he won second place at the competition.  “Hearing what some of the judges had to say about my presentation really made me aware of how much impact my research could have on the industry,” Akyuz said.  The feedback and suggestions he received will help shape the future direction of his research.

Akyuz was not the only University of Maryland undergraduate to win – students Cody Karcher and Jose Mondragon won first and third place, respectively.



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December 3, 2012


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“Hearing what some of the judges had to say about my presentation really made me aware of how much impact my research could have on the industry,” Yit Akyuz, mechanical engineering student said.

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