2019 Christopher Gavora Scholarship
The Hampton Roads Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society annually awards the Christopher Gavora Scholarship to a deserving student from the chapter’s membership area that includes all of Virginia except the greater Washington D.C. area. Chris, the son of Colonel William Gavora, a former Commander of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis, Virginia, was tragically killed in a high school baseball practice accident after his family moved to Texas. The chapter is delighted to announce the $1,000 2019 Christopher Gavora Scholarship has been awarded to William Butler, a graduate of Kellum High School in Virginia Beach.
Will was a straight A student at Kellum with a long list of activities, interests and awards that include: a three sport athlete and captain of his football team; class president, Military Child of the Year Finalist, President’s Volunteer Service Award winner, volunteer hours with literally dozens of community groups and participation in a number of NASA programs for high school students with a focus on space travel to Mars. Furthermore, Will worked as a Virginia Beach lifeguard and is CPR/AED certified. In his spare time Will enjoys singing and playing the guitar and banjo.
Will plans to attend the University of Virginia, majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Business.
2019 Tidewater Regional Science and Engineering Fair
As it has for many years in the past, this year the VFS Hampton Roads Chapter presented multiple special awards at the Tidewater Science & Engineering Fair. The Junior Division (Middle School) award winners received $200 for first place, and $150 for second place. The Senior Division (High School) award winners received $250 for first place, and $200 for second place. These awards are given to the students with the best projects supporting “the multidisciplinary fields of vertical flight, traditional rotorcraft platforms disciplines, and related support industries.” The winners were judged to be the best versed with their work and performed the most unique experiments. Their teachers have also received a $100 award for supporting the STEM community, and leading their students to these great achievements.
The Junior Division first place award winner was Michelle Hu for her work on object detection and classification in visually similar and dissimilar backgrounds. Michelle used an open source object classification program to detect colored spheres on colored paper. The second place award winner was Nolan McBride, who investigated the sound absorption properties of various insulation materials to reduce noise transmission.
The Senior Division first place award winner was Peneeta Wojcik for her work studying the effects of cobalt nitrate thickness on the efficiency of an electrochemical cell. Her work showed a thicker cobalt nitrate layer deposited on top of a nickel substrate, allowed for an increased efficiency in separating hydrogen atoms from water. This work helps to enable future hydrogen fuel cell technologies. Second place award winner in the senior division was Bharath Kashyap who investigated wind turbine blade shapes on achievable power output. He kept a constant angle of attack, surface area, and airfoil, changing only the planform shape to determine the most efficient turbine for his wind conditions.
The awards were presented by the Chapter’s Education Director Dr. James Stephenson.