Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Bozlar

Second Advisor

Catherine Kilmain

Third Advisor

Sunand Santhanagopalan


Polymers have evolved as an indispensable asset in various sectors ranging from packaging and construction to energy and aerospace. However, the accumulation of polymer waste poses a necessity to shift toward sustainable waste management processes. Mechanical recycling is a primary method in establishing a circular economy approach for polymers. However, a fundamental challenge arises in this process: a decrease in the mechanical performance of the recycled product compared to that of its pristine counterpart.

This project addresses the challenge of enhancing the recyclability of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from discarded polymer material by incorporating graphene nanoparticles into the polymer matrix during the recycling stage. This elevates its mechanical performance and extends polymer material’s recyclability. The discarded polymer was processed, reinforced with graphene oxide, and extruded into filaments using a twin-screw extruder. Several recycling rounds were conducted, and changes in the mechanical and chemical characteristics of the reinforced polymers were assessed.

The novel material is then inspected for its viability as a robust material for small-scale rotor turbine blades. Wind climate of a remote region in Sudan was assessed for its potential for harnessing wind energy by designing and analyzing a sustainable, small scale, vertical-axis wind turbine rotor. The rotor undergoes modeling, aerodynamic simulation and structural analysis to evaluate its performance under the loading conditions generated by average and peak wind speeds in the remote region of Sudan.


Wind Energy, Small-scale Vertical Axis Wind Turbines, Polyethylene Terephthalate, H blade, Nanocomposite, Graphene reinforced polymer, VAWT Design, Circular economy of polymers


Energy Systems | Polymer and Organic Materials | Structures and Materials

Data.xlsx (278 kB)
QBlade_graphs.m (10 kB)



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