Curtis Stimpson receives Alumni Association Dissertation Award

April 26, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Curtis Stimpson, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering, received a 2017 Alumni Association Dissertation Award from the Graduate School. Stimpson was recognized and received his medal at the Graduate School Alumni Society's Recognition Program April 18.

The Alumni Dissertation Award provides recognition to outstanding full-time doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams and have received approval of the dissertation topic. The award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment. This year, 13 outstanding doctoral students will each receive $5,000. The awards were made possible by a gift from the Penn State Alumni Association.

Stimpson conducts doctoral research in the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine Lab with adviser Karen Thole, mechanical and nuclear engineering department head and distinguished professor of mechanical engineering. His research is focused on experimental convective heat transfer to evaluate the use of additive manufacturing to cool components in gas turbine engines. The outcome of his dissertation, titled, “Thermal Performance of Additively Manufactured Microchannels and Film Cooling Holes,” is a greater understanding of, and predictive tools for creating gas turbine components with additive manufacturing.

“I am honored to be among the current and past recipients of this award who have been recognized for outstanding work and achievement. It means a lot to me as a graduate student to see all my studying, late nights in the laboratory, and countless hours of experimentation being recognized by the university as valuable and impactful,” Stimpson said.

Stimpson received his BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University. He has published research in nine archival journal papers and six non-archival papers and given presentations at national and international conferences. During the fall 2016 semester, he instructed 80 undergraduate students in fluid mechanics and mentored 7 honors students on special projects.

A member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) since 2012, he has participated in the annual ASME Turbo Expo conference since 2012, and has presented papers twice.

He has received a number of awards for his academic achievements and for travel to present technical content to the gas turbine community during his time at Penn State, including the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship, 2016-2017; the Penn State College of Engineering Fellowship, 2012-2015; and the Penn State University Graduate Fellowship, 2012-2013.


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Chris Hennessey

Curtis Stimpson and Provost Nick Jones

Provost Nick Jones presents Curtis Stimpson with a medal recognizing his 2017 Alumni Association Dissertation Award.



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

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