Maria Hovanessian, Teammates Win 1st Place For Design of Efficient Traffic Management System

SANTA CRUZ — A vexing 20-minute wait in traffic at the intersection of Highway 1 and River Street to get to Costco was a motivation for a UC Santa Cruz student . . .

Click here to read the original article on USA Armenian Life website.



Dr. Shant Kenderian, AESA Past President, Receives NASA Engineering Excellence Award

From left to right: Nancy J. Currie-Gregg, NASA astronaut; Dr. Shant Kenderian; Timmy R. Wilson, NASA Engineering & Safety Center (NESC) Director

On November 17, 2016, NASA presented Dr. Shant Kenderian with an Engineering Excellence Award in recognition for the innovation and service he and his team at The Aerospace Corporation were able to provide.


Bond Quality Inspection for Orion Heat Shield Blocks

In just a few years, the NASA Orion space capsule will transport astronauts into deep space. Upon reentry through Earth’s atmosphere, it will generate temperatures hot enough to melt rock. To protect the capsule and its inhabitants, Orion is equipped with an advanced heat shield designed to endure the extreme conditions of the rapid descent. In fact, it’s so effective, even sound has a hard time penetrating it.

The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) has been supporting an effort to develop an inspection technique to evaluate the bonding condition between the heatshield blocks and a composite substrate. The goal is to develop a technique capable of detecting all types of flaws, with access only from the outside surface.


To support this goal, specimens with manufactured flaws were created. For about two years, different NASA centers, industry experts, and universities tried scanning the specimens using various ultrasonic, microwave, terahertz, radiographic, and shearographic techniques. All were limited in their success. In particular, they were unable to detect unbonded surfaces in intimate contact, a condition known as a “kissing unbond.”


Dr. Shant Kenderian, AESA past president 2007 and 2008, and his nondestructive evaluation (NDE) team at The Aerospace Corporation, proposed a new approach. To inspect the mechanical condition of the bond, they reasoned, a mechanical wave such as ultrasound should be used, rather than an electromagnetic wave.


However, the nature of the heatshield material presented significant challenges to this approach. The inhomogeneity of the material results in erratic signals. The material also scatters and absorbs sound. For sound to penetrate this material, a low-frequency transducer must be used. This has the consequence of having long wavelengths and a large transducer footprint. The former results in poor temporal resolution between consecutive echoes, and the latter results in poor spatial resolution. To overcome these obstacles, Kenderian’s team used special transducers with very high damping to reduce the duration of ringing usually associated with low-frequency transducers. Also, a particular coupling medium was used that created a gradual change in the acoustic impedance across the interface between the transducer and heatshield material. This, in turn, allowed sound to be injected into the highly attenuative material with minimal losses.


The scan produced cloudy images due to the inhomogeneity of the medium. To compensate, the echo returning from the bond line between the heatshield and composite was normalized against the echo returning from the back wall of the composite. This neutralized the inhomogeneity and scattering effects and produced a signal directly related to the bonding condition and the features along the back wall, if any. Additional information could then be derived by examining the phase of the echo. As sound propagates from the heatshield to the composite, it moves from a region of low acoustic impedance to a region of high acoustic impedance. In the case of an unbond, however, it goes from high to low acoustic impedance. The amplitude of the two echoes are likely to be the same, but the phase will be reversed. The phase of the echo is therefore indicative of the bond condition. This can then be multiplied by the amplitude of the echo, which represents the confidence level of the measurement.


The synthetic aperture focusing technique was applied to the signal, resulting in a significant improvement in the sharpness of the scan. Therefore, it effectively restored some of the spatial resolution that was lost by the large footprint of the transducer. Finally, the probe was connected to two string encoders to produce a real-time image as the inspector performed a freehand scan of the spacecraft.


The inspection technique was demonstrated on a manufacturing design unit and successfully detected all flaw types. It will enable NASA to verify and repair, as necessary, the heat-shield construction and make well informed risk assessments for the future. It may also save astronaut lives. shant-kenderian-nasa-pic2












We are proud to announce the successful launching of Venture Armenia. The program was jointly initiated by the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA) and The Fund or Armenian Relief (FAR).

Без названия

Без названия (1)

Без названия (2)


AESA organized a science presentation at Camp Zavarian on 7/22/16 in Montrose California.

Mr. Asadour Tarakchian from Tutor Doctor visited Camp Zavarian in Montrose for a science time with camp students. The simple colorful experiments using food coloring milk and oil, ran the imagination of the students wild and the place was one giant science laboratory!


LOS ANGELES—SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation’s leading architecture, engineering and planning firms, is pleased to announce that Alek Zarifian has been elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA)College of Fellows.

The recognition reflects his significant contributions to architecture and society and achievement of a standard of excellence in the profession. Zarifian was one of 149 new fellows recognized at an investiture ceremony at the 2016 National AIA Convention and Design Exposition held May 19-21, 2016 in Philadelphia.

Zarifian is Health Studio design leader at SmithGroupJJR’s Los Angeles office. He is currently serving as senior designer for several of southern California’s largest healthcare projects commissioned to SmithGroupJJR: $228 million Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, now under construction in Downy, located in southeast Los Angeles County, as well as Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s new $240 million, seven-story medical tower, slated to break ground in late 2016 in Chula Vista, south of San Diego.

In addition to healthcare design, Zarifian has served as lead designer for higher education as well as science and technology projects. He is serving as SmithGroupJJR’s design principal for the Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the University of Southern California, a 44,000-square-foot renovation and transformation of the former 1950s-era Raulston Memorial Research Building.

Zarifian has 30 years of experience and joined SmithGroupJJR in 2013 after serving in senior design roles at Cannon Design, HDR Architecture and Tammy Edmonds Design, Inc.

Zarifian has been a long-time supporter of the AIA at the chapter level. He served two, 2-year terms on the AIA California Council spanning 2009 to 2014, and was president of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill chapter in 2013. Over the past 15 years, he has served as a visiting critic at numerous architecture schools in southern California, including California State Polytechnic University, the University of Southern California and Woodbury University.

After earning an Associate of Arts degree from Pasadena City College, he proceeded onto the University of Southern California, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s in Architecture and a Master of Architecture degree. He is a licensed architect in the state of California and a LEED accredited professional by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Zarifian is active in his community of Glendale, California, where he has lived since 1978. He served on the Advisory Committee to the City of Glendale’s Community Development Block Grants in 2006 and also later as a member of the Design Review Board, City of Glendale, 2008 – 2012, rising to chairman in 2013. He is a native of Tehran, Iran.
About The American Institute of Architects’ Fellowship Program
AIA’s Fellowship program was developed to elevate architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. AIA’s membership totals over 83,000, with only 3,100 distinguished with the honor of fellowship and honorary fellowship. Founded in 1857, AIA works to create more valuable, healthy, secure and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods and communities.


AESA organized a game software presentation at Camp Zavarian on 7/29/16 in Montrose California.

Vahe Karamian, a member of AESA Computer Committee, demonstrated how computer games are put together.

He showcased the tools and technologies that are used to make them. Some of the kids had very interesting questions as how the animation was working and how the characters where moving on the screen and so forth. Finally, the most interesting aspect of the demonstration was for them to try out Samsung Gear VR and showcased two unique applications.