Aerojet donates $50,000 to support Virginia Tech student team's Scramjet design project

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 23, 2009 – Aerojet Corp. has donated $50,000 to support the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Hy-V Scramjet launch student design team.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Sacramento-based Aerojet has supported the Hy-V scramjet launch project, based in the college’s mechanical engineering and aerospace and ocean engineering departments. The company donated $50,000 in December 2008. The student team is building a scramjet propulsion engine that will be tested at Mach 5 and 90,000 feet for a 20-second flight. A scramjet is an air-breathing propulsion engine similar to a ramjet, but with supersonic internal flow and combustion.

The check was presented by Aerojet’s John Sparks, director of engineering and technology, and Farid Khadduri, vice president for engineering and technology, to Ken Ball, head of the Virginia Tech mechanical engineering department, and Walter O’Brien, the J. Bernard Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Ball and O’Brien serve as faculty advisers on the project.

Sparks and Khadduri were visiting Virginia Tech as part of the College of Engineering’s fall 2009 Advisory Board meeting. Sparks is chairman of the advisory board’s Legislative Liaison Committee and winner of the 2008 Distinguished Service Award from the college.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a “hands-on, minds-on” approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.