Meet Antonios Vavouliotis, Centre of Expertise Supervisor for YES2 at the University of Patras.
What are you studying?
I am studying for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. I work at the Applied Mechanics Laboratory (AML) of the Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics Department in the University of Patras (Achaia, Greece).
How did you get involved in the YES project?
I got involved when I started of my PhD in 2003. I was looking for a project that could provide me with real experience of hands-on spacecraft engineering, so that I could further develop my technical knowledge. I learned about the YES2 project via ESA website and also through the EUROAVIA student association of which I was a member.
What was your role in the project
As the Greek member of the YES2 team I wanted to provide focused engineering work to YES2 (YES Structural design and analysis) and try promote space engineering in Greece. The end result of this was the creation of YES2 Centre of Expertise (CoE) at the University of Patras. It was decided that we would be responsible for the mechanical issues of the project: mechanical design and development, manufacturing and integration, structural and thermal validation by analysis and testing.
I acted as CoE Supervisor under the responsibility of my PhD tutor, Professor Vassilis Kostopoulos. So far five undergraduate students from my department have successfully graduated from Patras, completing their final thesis in YES2 subjects.
What were you working on in the project
At the beginning, I worked in the YES2 mechanical design definition. During that stage of the project, my job was to take all technical requirements of the mission and the major subsystems and make sure all the mechanical parts would work properly together. This led to the initial mechanical design and the preliminary structural analysis.
During the main development phase of YES2, I dealt mainly with the detailed structural validation of YES2 by analysis. I used Finite Element Methods (FEM) and other analytical tools to show that the YES2 design met all the necessary structural requirements. The outcome was the YES2 detailed Finite Element (FE) model and the Structural Report for the YES2 Critical Design Review. When YES2 was manufactured, I also helped with qualification testing in the ESTEC Test Centre.