NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - ESMD Space Grant

An interview with Julianna Scheiman '11

Julianna is an engineering physics major at Dartmouth. She is very involved in space technology research and hopes to one day walk the surface of Mars. She has done research with the physics department, building weather balloon payloads as well as launching them. Beyond her studies, Julianna somehow finds time to race with Dartmouth's crew team.


Describe your research project or responsibilities.

I worked with X-TOOLSS, a genetic algorithm based optimization software, to design a lunar habitat.

What is the significance of your work?

I developed important software and gained important insight into how to account for multiple factors when designing a lunar base. The work I performed will be used to enhance the current lunar base optimization model.

How did you select this project?

I was assigned the general project, but I got to choose which factorw to develop for the optimization tool.  I worked on the radiation optimization piece and developed the software by allowing it to "talk" to Comsol and Matlab.

Did you get to tour the facilities on base?

Sure did!  I got to check out a lot of cool rocket testing stands.  Marshall is on an Army base so I got to tour the Army side too.

How many students did you work with? Who else was involved with your project?

I worked with one other student and two other full-time employees.

What kinds of social events were there?

Marshall has a lot of recent new-hires, so there is a fun young community I got to hang out with.

What was your living situation like?

I lived in an apartment with one full-time employee and another intern.  

What was your favorite part about working at Marshall?

I liked that I worked at an operations and research based facility, I got to compare the two and see how NASA operates across the United States.

What was your most memorable experience?

Working on this project really pushed my computer programming skills.  I worked on having C++ "talk" to Matlab which then needed to "talk" to Comsol.  After calling Comsol engineers, they said what I wanted to do couldn't be done.  I then, five weeks later, proved them wrong.  Let's just say that everyone in my hallway knew I had accomplished something.


Above: Photos coming soon!