Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

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Tanner Harms

University of Wyoming

Tanner Harms is a student-athlete at the University of Wyoming. He received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 2016, and was a finalist for the 2016 Tobin Memorial Award which recognizes University of Wyoming’s most outstanding graduate. After receiving his BS in Mechanical Engineering, Tanner is continuing his education at UW working with College of Engineering professor Jonathan Naughton. He will be a graduate assistant within the department and focus on continuing his education in the area of wind energy specifically in fluid mechanics, though he has contemplated studying in aerodynamics as well.

How did you get interested in vertical flight?

My interest in fluid dynamics began during an undergraduate internship with a small company called Special Aerospace Services, where I was engaged to design rocket propulsion systems components.

What are some of your current projects or research interests?

My current research examines the causes and effects of rotorcraft dynamic stall, specifically the cycle-to-cycle variation of the flow.

What do Tanner's mentors have to say?

Tanner attended the University of Wyoming as an undergraduate, and I got to know him as his instructor in various classes and as his academic advisor. Throughout his undergraduate program, Tanner was a student athlete, wrestling for the University of Wyoming. He was a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier and came in second in his weight class at the Big 12 Championships his senior year. Knowing the time management skills and hard work that allowed Tanner to excel in athletics while graduating among the top in his Mechanical Engineering class, I was thrilled when he said he was considering graduate school. After considering several programs, Tanner chose to stay at the University of Wyoming because of the work we were doing in unsteady airfoil testing. I have not been disappointed in the expectations I had of Tanner, since he has hit the ground running and has already been highly productive in his research activities. Tanner’s work focuses on the unsteady flow around helicopter blades, studying important phenomena experimentally using pitching airfoils in a wind tunnel. Tanner’s work to date will be part of a paper presented at the AHS Forum this spring. I expect that Tanner will continue to produce good work that will result in an exciting career.

Prof. Jonathan Naughton
University of Wyoming, Wind Energy Research Center

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