Benjamin Diaz Villa - University of Houston
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Benjamin Diaz Villa

Current Pursuits

I graduated with my Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering at UT Austin (2021-2022). I am pursuing my PhD in Aerospace Engineering here at UT Austin in the area of hypersonic aerodynamics and aeroelasticity.

Undergraduate Research Projects

Both SURF and PURS involved conducting research in the area of aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. For PURS, the research was on the aerodynamics of rotating discs. For SURF, the research was on the aerodynamics of wing-morphing airfoils.

Favorite Undergraduate Research Memory

While participating in Houston Scholars, I enjoyed the fun activities we did as a group.

What do you value most about your undergraduate research experience?

I gained a lifelong mentor during my undergraduate research experience.

How did undergraduate research prepare you for what you are currently doing?

Both research programs were crucial as stepping stones for my current PhD research skills and abilities. I gained much needed computational fluid dynamics skills.

Advice for Students Interested in Undergraduate Research

Within engineering, there are two main areas of research: experimental and numerical/computational (A.K.A. simulations). If the student wants to go down the experimental route, I advise the student to learn as much as they can about the numerical/computational side of the problem, because it will surely set them apart from the others within the experimental field. If the student is thinking of going down the numerical route, I want to caution them that they will most likely work behind a computer screen the entire time, and there may not be much opportunity for hands-on work.