An Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering student has been awarded for his “immense innovation and commitment” after designing an aircraft capable of a flight on Mars.
Jamie Horn, who graduated with a First Class degree in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at Wrexham Glyndwr University, is this year’s local winner of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) prize.
The 21-year-old was recognised for his final year dissertation, which was titled ‘Development of Next Generation Air Vehicles for Mars and Beyond’. The project was two-fold, as part of it, Jamie performed an investigation on unmanned aerial (UAV) vehicles used on other planets, and also created his own design of a powered UAV – a fixed wing drone, which tutors said was capable of flight in the atmosphere of Mars.
After being announced as winner, Jamie said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be this year’s winner of the local IMechE prize, it came as a real surprise as I wasn’t expecting it at all.
“For me winning is the icing on the cake, as I really enjoyed my studies. My subject is not only fascinating but it’s wide-ranging too. For my dissertation I largely focussed on the aerodynamics of the air vehicles – and a lot of my research focussed on what NASA was working on.
“Once I designed the aircraft I simulated a mission under Martian conditions using Ansys – engineering simulation software.”
Nick Burdon, Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “A huge congratulations to Jamie, who was an excellent and highly committed student during his time with us. As part of his dissertation, he led a fantastic investigation on all “air” vehicles used on other planets.
“He also showed immense innovation by creating his own design of a fixed wing drone, which was capable of flight on Mars. Using techniques learnt as part of the degree course’s aircraft design module, he developed the design from initial concept to a far more detailed design using his own custom requirements that the drone had to achieve. This resulted in a proposal that could be taken forward to actual construction.
“Jamie is a more than deserving winner of this year’s IMechE prize.”
Jamie, who is now studying for a Master’s degree in International Air Transport Operations and Management at ENAC in Toulouse – France’s National School of Civil Aviation, said the support he had while studying at Wrexham Glyndwr University was “second to none”.
He added: “Despite the fact, my course was only taught face-to-face for six months as a result of the Covid pandemic, the support I received from tutors was absolutely brilliant. Nick, in particular, was fantastic – he was always on-hand if any of us needed anything, I can’t thank him enough.”