Meet Our Students


Miranda Pizzella


Advisor/Mentor: Mark McQuilling
Sponsor/Grant: The Boeing Company
Program Start: Fall 2013



Miranda Pizzella received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Saint Louis University in 2012 upon which she continued her education at Saint Louis University receiving her M.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 2013. Pizzella is a supporter of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). She attended a seminar for women in STEM in Seoul, Korea during June and July of 2015 where she participated in workshops, seminars and lectures supporting women in male dominated fields and learned about Korean culture and traditions. She is a new member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and attends SWE events for St. Louis professionals where she enjoys meeting other female engineers and discussing topics relevant to women in engineering. In her free time, Pizzella enjoys learning Taekwondo and running around with her dog, Gunther. Pizzella and her husband, Mike, are very excited to be expanding their family by one in March 2016.


Military aircraft flying faster than the speed of sound face numerous challenges to maintain efficient performance. Although these aircraft fly at extremely high speeds, most engines used to propel these aircraft require low speeds in order to produce the required thrust. Supersonic engines have a special component located in front of the engine called the inlet. The inlet is used to compress the oncoming high-speed flow and provide uniform, low speed flow to the engine face. Shock waves, which are a coalescence of sound waves, are used to decelerate the flow but result in a variety of performance penalties as they interact with the boundary layers, a region of low momentum flow due to viscous effects, formed along the surfaces of the inlet. To study this problem Pizzella uses computational fluid dynamics to analyze shock wave boundary layer interactions and understand the resulting fluid physics.