Vaughn College’s paper entitled “Effect of Curvature on the Natural Frequency of a Riveted Plate” won first place in the Student Poster Exhibition and Competition at the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) annual conference. The poster bested international, as well as U.S. entries, from schools such as the University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and The City University of New York. The conference took place in Panama City, Republic of Panama from July 23-27.

The paper, authored by Vaughn students Malik Hocine, Marcin Pajak and Antonio Diaz, investigated the effect of rivets on the natural frequency of a plate in comparison to a simple supported plate, and explored the effect of angle of curvature on the natural frequency of a riveted plate. An equation, derived through a numerical approach using 3-D CAD design software CATIA V5, was developed to relate the two.

Faculty mentors and project advisors Dr. Yougashwar Budhoo, assistant professor, engineering and technology department, and Dr. Hossein Rahemi, department chair, provided research oversight. Dr. Rahemi noted that Vaughn College has showcased work at the Conference for many years, submitting both student and faculty work.  “In previous years, representatives from Vaughn College have received 2nd and 3rd place awards, but this year’s win, our first gold, is incredibly exciting for us,” stated Dr. Rahemi.

Natural frequency is the frequency at which a system naturally vibrates once it has been set into motion or the number of times a system will oscillate (move back and forth) between its original position and its displaced position, if there is no outside interference. Natural frequency depends on many factors such as geometry, boundary conditions and material properties.

The study findings concluded that the natural frequency of a curved plate varies linearly with the change in angle of curvature. An interesting study finding showed that replacing a simple-supported plate with rivets, reduced the fundamental frequency by approximately 20 percent. The impact of understanding the change to the natural frequency could help reduce oscillation and resonance in specific situations.

Dr. Rahemi believes this paper won because it has significant real world application. “Curved plates are common in the field of engineering and can be seen on various parts of aircraft such as on the skin of the fuselage and the wing. Rockets, missiles and domes also employ curved plates.”

The paper was jointed presented by Pajak and Diaz during the poster session. Hocine, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology with an Aeronautical option, could not attend the conference because he already begun a job at Pratt & Whitney.  Pajak graduated this summer with a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology with an Aeronautical option, and is currently interning as a mechanical engineer/research assistant at City College. Diaz is in his 3rd year of his Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology with an Aeronautical option.

In speaking with Pajak about the paper, what he appreciated most was the sense of accomplishment he felt in conquering the software after many months of trial and error. Pajak also noted that he was very grateful to be able to work with CATIA software during his time at Vaughn. “This is ‘very exclusive’ software that is used by Boeing and other top companies today and most schools don’t offer it,” he said.

But, the most exciting part of LACCEI for Pajak was the chance to represent Vaughn College, which according to Pajak, has become a true contender as a top engineering school.  “Being able to share my knowledge and bring in the 1st place award for Vaughn was a great personal accomplishment as well as a great achievement for the College.”


LACCEI AWARDS PRESENTATION: From left, Maria Larrondo-Petrie, PhD, Florida Atlantic University and LACCEI founder, presents First Place award to Vaughn students Marcin Pajak and Antonio Diaz.