University students to present new aerospace propulsion concepts at Air Force Museum

  • Published
  • By Jeremy Dunn
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Aerospace Propulsion Outreach Program, or APOP, will hold its 15th annual symposium and poster session at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, April 19, 2024, from noon to 3 p.m. The event is possible due to the support of the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, or LCMC, Propulsion Directorate, who are joining forces to provide mentors for the symposium.
APOP is a partnered outreach program for young and up-and-coming engineers who are entering the workforce. It allows university students an opportunity to work with Air Force engineers and challenges them to modify small gas turbine engines and innovate on current turbine engine designs. The poster session provides an opportunity for AFRL and LCMC to coordinate with academia to innovate on new technology.

“It has been an honor to support such an innovative and growing program,” said 1st Lt. James Mostek, AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate. “The experience left me in awe.  The ability one person can have on making such an impact became very clear to me.”
The APOP symposium began in 2009 with four universities participating and has grown to 16 in 2024. Every year, APOP tasks students to address a specific challenge with this year’s being maximum reverse thrust. Challenges in past poster sessions have included maximum thrust/weight and electronic power generation.
The poster session will allow students to present their designs in an open forum, including table displays where observers can approach and get an overview of their projects. For many years, APOP has been an effective recruiting tool for AFRL with over 10 personnel added over the last two years.
“I also give immense credence to the technical experts who support the program, as well,” said Mostek. “Their insight truly allowed students to dig deeper into innovative design challenges. This poster session assists in bringing their hard work to life and showcases the impact Air Force programs have on the public.”
The following colleges and universities will be participating in the event:
Miami (Ohio) University
Michigan Technological University
New Mexico State
Ohio University
Ohio State University
Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon State
Tuskegee University
University of Cincinnati
University of Dayton
University of Oklahoma
University of Michigan
University of Pennsylvania
University of Wisconsin Madison
Wright State University

NOTE FOR MEDIA: News media representatives who would like to provide coverage of this event must email AFRL Public Affairs at by 12 p.m. April 18 to RSVP. Arrival instructions will be provided to media with your RSVP confirmation email from the PA office. Questions may be directed to the AFRL/PA Media Operations Team at 937-469-1728.
About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit