Mechanical and Aerospace Graduate Student Melissa Yeung Joins National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship  

Spring Trees in front of Carnegie Library
Spring Trees in front of Carnegie Library

Melissa Yeung, a first-year Ph.D. student in mechanical and aerospace engineering, has joined the 2024 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The fellowship offers three years of support for graduate research over a five-year period.  

Yeung currently works in the fluid dynamics lab of Yiyang Sun, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and her research focuses on supersonic jet engines. “The goal of my work is to alleviate the undesired features through strategically placed small micro-jets of air,” Yeung says. “I am currently focused on optimizing these micro-jets such that they can continuously modulate themselves to adapt to various flight conditions. By doing so, the flow can be controlled even in off-design conditions and with minimal energy input.

“Understanding these complex flow physics is vital for the development of next-generation high-performance aircraft. Successfully controlling this flow can improve upon the aircraft’s performance and ensure the safety of nearby workers or civilians. This work is one of many steps in pushing supersonic flight for commercial use.” 

Yeung believes the fellowship will give her greater flexibility in her research, fund her research activities and enable her to attend more conferences. She’s also grateful for the support she’s received from Sun, Professor Emeritus Mark Glauser, and Gina Lee-Glauser, retired vice president for research.  

“Their guidance has been crucial to my success and without them, I would have not had the honor of being an NSF GRFP recipient,” Yeung says.