All Thayer News

Kudos: NASA Finalists, Awards, and More

Mar 15, 2021   |   by Theresa D’Orsi   |   Dartmouth Engineer

Image courtesy of Eli S. Burakian ’00

Lunar Emergency Vehicles

BE students Mit Patel Th’21, Garrett Rawlings ’20 Th’21, Rafael Rosas ’20 Th’21, Andrew Skow ’21, and Ty Teodori ’20 Th’21—with advisor Professor Laura Ray—are finalists in NASA’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) competition. The challenge was to design a self-driving and self-navigating marine surface vehicle to help in the case of an unplanned maritime egress during the 2024 Artemis mission to the moon. “Space mission frequency and crew sizes are both increasing, so in an emergency—such as a launch abort or capsule re-entry—first-responders will be stretched thin,” says Rosas. “First-responders could deploy our Surface Autonomous Vehicles for Emergency Rescue (SAVERs) to astronauts in distress and provide essential first-response and survival equipment.” One of the greatest challenges has been designing remotely during COVID-19. “We are incredibly proud of the quality of work we have been able to collaboratively produce while working over Zoom,” says Rosas. The team was back on campus for winter term, prototyping and optimizing SAVER’s subsystems in preparation for a preliminary design review in February. “We plan to conduct several of our tests, including drop dynamics and autonomous navigation system, in Zimmerman Pool,” he says. The prototype is due by the end of May, with testing scheduled for mid-June in the NASA Johnson Space Center Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas.

PATENTED: A “smart” orthopedic gyroscope to help optimize alignment of artificial knees devised by lecturer Ryan Chapman Th’18 and Professor Douglas Van Citters ’99 Th’03 Th’06 has been awarded a patent.

NAMED: Professor Jifeng Liu—whose research focuses on renewable energy and reducing the energy consumption of information technology through integrated photonics—has been named a fellow of The Optical Society.

AWARDED: Researchers from Dartmouth and DHMC—including professors Ryan Halter Th’06, Vikrant Vaze, and Ethan Murphy; research assistant Alexandra Hamlin ’16 Th’17 Th’19; and PhD students Navid Rashedi Th’21 and Yifei Sun Th’19—earned the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Gold Snapshot Award for development of technologies to detect internal bleeding.

PUBLISHED: In the November issue of the American Chemical Society’s Central Science journal, PhD student Edward Matios Th’21 and Professor Fiona Li argued that more research on new battery chemistry based on sodium could yield more sustainable and higher performance alternatives than lithium-ion batteries.

STUDIED: Adjunct Professor Jeremy Faludi and senior research engineer Carrie Van Sice assessed the “State of Knowledge on the Environmental Impacts of Metal Additive Manufacturing,” a study commissioned by the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association.

FUNDED: Two professors have received funding for research pilot projects from the N.H. Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials. Professor Yan Li is developing polymer-derived ceramics to replace metallic materials in implants. Professor William Scheideler aims to develop porous sensors to monitor the inflammatory response to implanted biomaterials.

APPOINTED: Professor John Zhang has accepted a temporary appointment as program director in the electrical, communications, and cyber-systems division of the National Science Foundation.

PUBLISHED: Dean Alexis Abramson coauthored a paper in a December issue of the Public Library of Science’s Plos One journal on using virtual energy audits to identify buildings’ energy-saving opportunities.

For contacts and other media information visit our Media Resources page.