Students Learn Rocket Science From NASA Expert

Students Learn Rocket Science From NASA Expert
Aerospace engineer Trong Bui is working with the College of Engineering on developing a university-level rocket flight research facility with the help of NASA.

In this case, it truly is rocket science when Aerospace Engineering students learn about rocket propulsion, computational fluid dynamics and aircraft jet propulsion from a top-notch industry expert.

Trong Bui, an aerospace engineer at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, is serving as visiting fellow in the Aerospace Engineering department during the 2005-06 academic year. This fall, his ARO 414 Rocket Propulsion class attracted more than 35 seniors — the largest number of students in a technical elective in the College of Engineering in many years.

Bui brings not only 15 years of research experience in the field but also a rocket grant from NASA that enables the College of Engineering to acquire valuable research equipment. Together with the Aerospace Engineering faculty, he proposed and received approval for a university-level rocket flight research facility at Cal Poly Pomona from the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The facility will include a state-of-the-art system for the analysis of rockets and other advanced aerospace technologies, allowing students to obtain practical hands-on experience to complement their classroom instruction in rocketry.

Bui began his association with Cal Poly Pomona in 2000 as a part-time instructor for the Graduate External Degree Program in Aerospace Engineering. As a fellow, he taught ARO 419 Computational Fluid Dynamics in the winter, and he will teach ARO 312 Aircraft Jet Propulsion during the spring quarter.

“Trong is a true rocket scientist and a man of energy, enthusiasm and a lot of technical ideas,” says Ali Ahmadi, chair of Aerospace Engineering. “We are delighted to have Trong in our department and we're enjoying a very productive year working with him.”