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04-014
For Release: February 27, 2004

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office
216-433-5795
sallie.a.keith@nasa.gov

TACINA RECOGNIZED AS YOUNG ENGINEER OF THE YEAR

Dr. Kathleen M. Tacina, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center, will receive the Cleveland Area Young Engineer of the Year Award from the Greater Cleveland National Engineer's Week committee at their reception tonight at the Great Lakes Science Center.

The Young Engineer of the Year award is presented to an engineer, under the age of 35, who resides, works in and is identified with the Greater Cleveland/Northeast Ohio technical community. Recipients are selected for their past technical and professional accomplishments, contributions to the engineering profession, current professional activities and projects and their involvement in civic and community affairs.

"I am extremely pleased Kathy was selected as the Young Engineer of the Year," said Thomas J. Biesiadny, chief of Glenn's Turbomachinery and Propulsion Systems Division's Inlet Branch, who nominated her for the award. "Despite her short time at NASA she has acquired an impressive array of technical and professional accomplishments and is an excellent role model for future engineers."

After joining Glenn in August 2002, Tacina began performing pioneering research to understand the flow phenomena associated with the pulse detonation engine. Unlike conventional aircraft engine technologies, the pulse detonation engine combustion produces gas flows that are both unsteady and supersonic. Thus, the flow phenomena associated with pulse detonation engines are significantly different than those associated with conventional aircraft engines. Tacina has taken complete responsibility for operation of a key data acquisition device for the pulsed ejector experiments, where innovative high-speed data acquisition techniques were required to understand the highly dynamic flow phenomena.

Tacina, who was the 1991 Brunswick High School valedictorian, earned a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from The Ohio State University. She also earned a Masters of Science both in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics and her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Tacina has written reports on a variety of subjects ranging from sophisticated instrumentation to burning gas jets, one of which was published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and presented at a national American Physical Society meeting. She presented a NASA research report in January 2004 at the 42nd American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit and is currently drafting a report to be presented in June at the AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit.

Since joining NASA she has mentored a Cooperative Education Engineering Student and a high school summer intern and served as a judge at the 2003 International Science and Engineering Fair. She is the Vice President of Education of the Westside Advanced Toastmasters and has been a Parish School of Religion teacher and teaching assistant for students with disabilities.

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