Denisse V. Aranda (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)

Denisse V. Aranda (Mechanical and Materials Engineering)

About DOE Fellow:
Denisse Aranda obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in mathematics from Florida International University in April of 2010. After her graduation, she left the DOE program to pursue a Master’s degree at Virginia Tech, where she is studying Aerospace Engineering with a specialization in Dynamic and control. Ms. Aranda is currently working full time at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia in the Engineering Directorate – mechanical systems branch. Her future plans are to complete her degree and eventually move to NASA HQ in Washington DC to work on Space Policy.

Accomplishments as a DOE Fellow:
Ms. Aranda has received a plethora of awards ranging from Dr. Ronald E. McNairs Annual SCHOLAR OF THE YEAR 2008, South Florida’s “Best in Class – Academia”, 1st place in the U.S. Department of Energy Poster Competition, 1st place poster at the Dr. McNair Research Symposium, and 1st place poster at the Waste Management Conference 2009. Denisse was also the keynote speaker for the 2009 Department of Energy Fellowship Induction Ceremony as well as a panelist for the 2009 WM Conference.

For the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, Denisse served as a Student Ambassador to the FUTURE HOUSE USA. China invited 10 developed countries to build a smart, self-sustainable, green energy home to be on display during the Olympics. FIU was the only academic institution in the country to be invited to represent the United States of America in this endeavor. Denisse was selected due to her involvement with FIU’s own solar home, and won first place in energy balance in a DOE competition because of her role as co-founder and project manager for Emerging Green Builders.

In Summer 2008, Denisse interned at U.S. Department of Energy Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Environmental Management Division. She, along with John Degregory, led the revamping efforts for the EM-23 website. This is a time pressing matter since DOE needs a prototype webpage by the time the transition team arrives. As a result of this research, six different prototype websites were created and showcased using MS FrontPage and MS Expression.

In Spring 2008, she held a research position at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in the division of structures and materials. The research area is mixed oxide aerogel composites, which have been used as insulation on the Mars Exploration Rover as well as on the Stardust Mission to collect and study interstellar dust. Denisse also worked in the historic launch of Ares IX.

Work as a DOE Fellow:

Ms. Aranda conducted experimental and numerical work for selected stimulants relevant to HLW fluids with known hydrodynamic rheological properties, and correlated these parameters with the settling and mixing properties, gas retention and release, and foaming behavior.

Previously, Denisse was a research assistant to Dwayne McDaniel, investigating the effects of ultrasound in dislodging radioactive waste from pipelines. If proven valid, this method of cleaning lodged radioactive waste from pipelines yields a faster, safer, more efficient, and more ecologically friendly solution to clogged pipeline challenges. Current research is focused on characterizing the chemical plugs by way of Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX) through SEM to better understand the working principles used in pipeline unplugging.