Engineering Student Publishes Paper

Internship gives student great experience

By: Becky St. Clair

A structural model for the airplane Jabola helped design.

A design concept for the lunar habitat project on which Jabola co-authored a professional journal paper.

During the summer of 2008, Andrew Jabola, senior mechanical engineering major, worked as an intern at Advatech Pacific, an aerospace and defense company located in Redlands, Calif.  His role was working on projects for internal research and development.  As a result of this work, he co-authored a paper for a professional journal that was published shortly thereafter.

The first major project Jabola was given was to develop an example aircraft that would allow a user to enter various definitions to define attributes.  The model would then be analyzed using a variety of software.

“The idea was to give users the option of giving the computer a specific problem or range of aircraft they’d like to look at,” says Jabola.  “Then they could simply hit the solve button and end up with the best aircraft for whatever they needed.”

Though this project is still in the works, Jabola had a hand in getting it started.  He also got the opportunity to start on a second project, which was modeling and analyzing a structure concept for lunar habitats.  

“What makes our structure different is the fact that it is able to store a lot while still being extremely light,” says Jabola, “thus making it an excellent concept for lunar habitats.”

This second project Jabola worked on was compiled into an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) paper, entitled, “Habitat for Space and Lunar Environments: A Lightweight Structure Concept.”  Though Jabola was not the primary author of the paper, he did have a part in the actual content.

Following the paper’s publication, Jabola and the primary author, Paul Slysh, presented the paper at the AIAA 2008 Space Conference and Exposition.  The paper was presented simultaneously with other sessions during the conference, and had a small crowd listen to their presentation.  Their goal in presenting was to develop possible business opportunities for the type of structure they were proposing.

“My experiences as an intern were extremely educational and enjoyable,” says Jabola.  “Preparing and presenting at a professional conference where the top rocket scientists of the world have convened was a tremendous honor.  Overall, this internship has helped my growth as an engineer tremendously.”

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