Two West Virginia University engineering students were awarded fellowships through the U.S. Department of Energy’s University Turbine Systems Research program. Tim Repko and Collins Youngblood will travel to two different parts of the country to fulfill their fellowships.
A native of Westminster, Md., Repko will relocate to San Diego, to work at Solar Turbines, Inc. under the supervision of Dr. Yong Kim, a senior engineer. His fellowship will last three months.
“I’m looking forward to gaining work experience in the industry, outside of academia,” said Repko, a graduate student majoring in aerospace engineering. “I am looking to build upon my current research as well as branch into other aspects of gas turbine research and development.”
Solar Turbines, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., builds medium-sized land based turbines. It is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial gas turbines, with more than 13,400 units and more than 1.4 billion operating hours in 98 countries.
Youngblood is a native of Richmond, Va., and will be working at General Electric Energy in Greenville, S.C. His internship will also last three months.
“I’m very excited to work with GE and finally get my hands on some real-life applications that deal with mechanical engineering,” Youngblood said. “I’ve been in love with engineering and power generation ever since I visited my first power plant as a kid.”
Both Repko and Youngblood have been advised by Andrew C. Nix, a research professor in WVU’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emission, where he specializes in gas turbine heat transfer, cooling and durability research.
“I am really proud of Tim and Collins for this achievement and with this most recent fellowship we are establishing a record of exceptional students from the college in the UTSR program,” Nix said. “They are going to work with some of the most renowned gas turbine researchers in the world. This fellowship will provide them with some valuable industrial research and development experience.”
The UTSR program addresses key technologies needed to enable the development of advanced turbines and turbine-based systems that will operate cleanly and efficiently when fueled with coal-derived synthesis gas and hydrogen fuels. These fellowships are considered an investment in educating tomorrow’s developers of clean, efficient and affordable power production.
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