Two recent Xavier High School graduates, a current student and a teacher recently traveled to Washington, D.C., where they were honored as the first recipients of the RAISE Award.
The award, Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science and Engineering, was issued by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. It was accepted on Nov. 15 by Miraj Rahematpura, of Middletown, Christopher Muckle, of Madison, Mario Chris, of Storrs, and Engineering Club moderator and teacher Michael Humphreys.
Rahematpura is currently studying at Stanford University in California, Muckle is at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and Chris is a senior at Xavier.
“I congratulate these students for their winning idea,” LaHood said in a statement. “Under the mentorship of Michael Humphreys, Chris, Miraj, and Mario spent many days during their summer vacation meticulously preparing their project using the resources of a nearby university.”
The students designed a light-weight winglet with variable angles, built a model of it, measured the reduction in drag on the wing and then calculated the resulting fuel savings.
“Their achievement can serve as a great example to leaders across the country — in business, in government and in education — of how we can use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education to think big and solve big problems,” LaHood said.
Xavier Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X., congratulated the students on the accomplishment and recognition.
“It was a pleasure to see the time and energy that these young men put into this project over these many months,” he said.
Claire Leonardi, chief executive officer and executive director at Connecticut Innovations, said she is thrilled the students were recognized with the award.
“These young innovators are the types of students that will help strengthen Connecticut’s technology talent pipeline,” Leonardi said.
The three students were also members of the 2012 Connecticut Real World Design Challenge aviation team, which was composed of seven students from Xavier. CI administers the Connecticut Real World Design Challenge. That team won the Connecticut Challenge for three consecutive years and in 2011 was the National Champion in the competition.