Gustafson wins two best paper awards at SPIE conference

4/25/2019 11:29:21 AM Stefanie Anderson

Kim Gustafson
Kim Gustafson
MechSE graduate student Kimberly Gustafson won a Best Student Paper first place prize and Best Student Paper second place prize for the Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication at the SPIE 2019 conference in March. She presented her paper, “Adaptive and compliant wing tip devices enabled by additive manufacturing and multi-stable structures” at the conference of the international society for optics and photonics.

Gustafson’s paper focuses on a mechanism inspired by the way birds use the tips of their wings to maneuver through the air. These wing tips have three degrees of freedom that help birds during flight— they can bend upward, rotate into or out of airflow, and spread apart from one another. To mimic these movements, Gustafson proposed a strategy that incorporates composites to actuate the bending and rotation of the wing tips and a bi-stable mechanism to control the gap spacing of the wing tips. Both the composite and the bi-stable mechanism were manufactured using 3D printing technology. 

Gustafson works in Assistant Professor Aimy Wissa’s Bio-Inspired Adaptive Morphology (BAM) Lab. The research was conducted this past summer during a fellowship at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Laboratory.

“This kind of recognition is really cool for Professor Wissa’s lab. For me personally, this is my first-ever conference paper, so it’s kind of fun to win an award on my first one. It made all the hard work pay off,” she said. 

Gustafson is applying to medical school with the hope of getting an MD/PhD after she graduates. She wants to design prosthetics and implants and hopes that having both the medical and engineering perspectives will help her create unique solutions to current issues in this field.