Outer-space to inner-space: mechanical and aerospace engineers push the boundaries

Landing $440,000 grants and pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration are all in a day’s work for

mechanical and aerospace engineering professors like Dr. Mark Archambault and Dr. Shengyuan Yang.

 Dr. Mark Archambault, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was recently awarded a $440,000 grant from NASA.  Dr. Achambault and his students will use the grant to study the way rocket plumes from space vehicles interact with lunar surfaces. During the Apollo missions, video documentation showed dust and debris blasting across the lunar service and the phenomenon was never fully understood. Dr. Archambault’s research , in tandem with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hopes to create simulations of this environment to gain better intelligence to benefit future missions to the moon and beyond.




Dr. Shengyuan Yang just published a scientific paper in Review of Scientific Instruments on his research on the first-ever imaging of cells growing on a spherical surface. This discovery and research has applications in the early detection and isolation of cancer cells. While the effects of substrate stiffness have been researched extensively, the effects of substrate curvature has not been well-documented. As it turns out, cell curvature plays a very profound role on how cells behave. A better understanding of cell behavior has applications in the early detection and isolation of cancer cells and the control of stem cell differentiations. This work has been supported thanks to funding received from the National Science Foundation CAREER Program.

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