Aerospace engineering student earns prestigious scholarship

September 15, 2020

A Mississippi State aerospace engineering student has earned a scholarship from the American Society of Composites.

Daniel Drake – studio portrait.
(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Danny Drake, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering, was awarded the renowned ASC Ph.D. Scholarship and will receive $1,000 towards his research efforts.

Drake was nominated for the award by his research advisor, Rani Sullivan, a professor in the aerospace engineering department.

“Our research team works closely with the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Airforce Base in Ohio, and the Advanced Composite Institute (ACI) here at Mississippi State to develop and research new damage-resistant composite materials. At ACI, we manufacture stitched composites,” said Drake.

Drake’s team sews carbon fabric with structural threading prior to the infusion of resin and subsequent cure. This structural thread acts as a damage-resistant feature to arrest forms of composite damage.

“This is especially important because if someone drops a tool on a composite part, the extent of damage will be minimized and help reduce the cost for any necessary repair,” said Drake.

According to the ASC website, “for over 30 years, the American Society for Composites (ASC) has been an organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and technology of composite materials and structures.”

“The American Society for Composites Ph.D. scholarship is quite prestigious for Ph.D. students who are in the field of composite materials,” Drake said. “I have been exposed to new networking opportunities since I’ve received the award. In addition to this, there is a monetary award, which will go towards manufacturing stitched sandwich composite components for my research.”

The ASC’s mission is, “to provide a communication forum for the engineering and scientific community in composite materials. To expedite the growth of knowledge gained from inter-disciplinary engineering and scientific research in composite materials. To promote the exploitation of the unique properties of composite materials in emerging applications.”

In addition to the scholarship, Drake will receive a plaque at the ASC 35th Annual Technical Conference, which is being held virtually Sept. 14-17.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

By: Abbie Kate Hancock