U-M Aerospace PhD candidate Caleb Van Beck was awarded the 2020 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship under the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research for developing cutting-edge propulsion devices.
This year, the Department of Defense named Van Beck one of the 4,000 recipients of the NDSEG Fellowship for his work in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, including space physics. In Professor Venkat Raman’s Advanced Propulsion Concepts Laboratory, Van Beck has been working on rotating detonation engines. He and his team hope to introduce a shockwave into the system that will help detonate the fuel through the leveraging of a pressure gain combustion cycle. This could result in increased efficiency over traditional engines by as much as twenty percent.
“By introducing the shockwave into the system – which is helping detonate the fuel that is causing it – we increase the efficiency even for a smaller and simpler engine than a traditional engine.”
This semester, he plans to continue his research remotely and begin assignments from the Air Force as a result of his Fellowship.
Caleb received his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Central Florida, Orlando before pursuing his PhD at UM Aerospace.