Celebrating women’s contributions to aerospace history and technology with Prof. Dianyun Zhang.
On March 11th 2017, Prof. Dianyun Zhang, graduate student Weijia Chen, and senior Mechanical Engineering students Meagan Ferreira and Nomin Munkhbat attended the “Women Take Flight” event hosted by the New England Air Museum located in Windsor Locks, CT. The event featured activities and presentations celebrating women’s contributions to aerospace history and technology.
Dr. Zhang represented UConn’s Mechanical Engineering department at the event to promote engineering to young children by showing new advancements. Specifically, the group demonstrated how composites are manufactured to the young boys and girls (as well as adults) who attended the event. Curious guests were shown that carbon fiber and the glass fiber are flexible and soft. Then they were asked if they could assess the composite panels, and if they believed they were made from those same materials. Guests were then told about the VARTM (vacuum assisted resin transfer molding) process, and exactly how those flexible fibers can become as tough as metal through curing. It was also explained how the composites are replacing airplane parts that generally use metal. (Contributed by Nomin Munkhbat and Meagan Ferreira)