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Home | Tag Archives: UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR)

Tag Archives: UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR)

Department of Energy Official Praises UTEP’s Commitment to Advanced Manufacturing Research

A research leader from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lauded The University of Texas at El Paso’s research capabilities during the Southwest Emerging Technology Symposium (SETS) and Regional Small Business Summit, an event hosted by UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).

Briggs White, Ph.D., technology manager of the Crosscutting Research Program of the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), was a keynote speaker at the event, which provides career-building opportunities for students from UTEP and throughout the country in a professional conference setting, connecting these students with researchers, scholars and industry professionals for possible recruitment opportunities.

“UTEP has been a national model for creating highly competitive academic and research programs while maintaining a deep commitment to serving its student demographic,” White said. “So, I was particularly pleased to participate in UTEP’s summit to help highlight its successes in important research with national implications.”

UTEP has long been a mainstay of NETL’s research collaboration through the agency’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) initiative.

Jack F. Chessa, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said White’s sentiments are a testament to the continued efforts of the campus’ faculty to engage in externally funded research to drive innovation and enhance the experiences offered to students.

“We are quite excited to have had Dr. White visit and speak,” Chessa said. “DOE has been a strong supporter of research in the department as well as for cSETR and the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. But I think this visit really brought into focus how much critical DOE research is going on here. The faculty in the department really have done an excellent job to position their research interests and capabilities to align with the critical needs of DOE. There is a lot of potential moving forward.”

White said one example of UTEP’s success through the HBCU/OMI initiative focused on advanced manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing enables the nation to build high-tech components with improved performance capabilities,” White said. “It also offers the possibility of rapid prototyping and repair. Under DOE sponsorship, UTEP’s work has explored the challenges of embedding sensors into combustor nozzles to enable real-time monitoring of component health.”

Contributions From UTEP’s cSETR Recognized by Aerospace Engineering Society

A paper produced by Luz Bugarin, engineering project manager for UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR), and Mariana Chaidez, a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at UTEP, in collaboration with NASA researchers, has been named the 2017 Best Paper by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee.

The work, “Coil-On-Plug Ignition for Oxygen/Methane Liquid Rocket Engines in Thermal-Vacuum Environments,” was co-authored by John C. Melcher, Matthew J. Atwell, Robert L. Morehead and Eric A. Hurlbert, all of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.

It outlines the development of a coil-on-plug ignition system that can operate under vacuum and thermal vacuum conditions.

“This recognition is a testament to the tremendous work conducted at cSETR and the caliber of students that we have on campus,” said Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., cSETR director and chair of UTEP’s mechanical engineering department. “For UTEP to not only contribute to a meticulous technical paper, but also have a hand in producing an award-winning one, is a special feat.”

Bugarin and Chaidez worked at the Johnson Space Center for 19 weeks while preparing their portion of the paper.

“Seeing that the research work done at my internship was not only valuable to me but led to the AIAA 2017 Liquid Propulsion Best Paper Award is beyond words,” Bugarin said. “I believe this is an excellent example of the high-quality opportunities that cSETR brings to students at UTEP.”

Chaidez agreed.

“I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with the NASA team at Johnson Space Center and to be able to be part of the group receiving this award,” Chaidez said. “My internship was a rewarding experience and it gives me great satisfaction that the work I completed during my internship aided in further advancing NASA’s and the project’s mission.”

UTEP’s role will be formally recognized July 11 in Cincinnati during an awards luncheon at the 2018 AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum.

As part of their recognition, AAIA will designate the paper and the authors as award winners in its online library. The paper will also be listed in the November 2018 print issue of Aerospace America

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