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Engineering: Current Students

NASA Microgravity University 2012

UNL Microgravity 2012


The UNL College of Engineering is proud to participate in NASA's Microgravity University. The program engages selected college and university teams in scientific research that helps our nation's space program to refine its efforts. Projects are conducted during a series of parabolic reduced-gravity flights in specially-equipped NASA aircraft that reach 35,000 feet above the earth's surface.

2012 Project:

Flame Behavior of a MEMS-GC Detector

UNL was chosen to work with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and its partner Cbana Labs to develop environmental monitoring sensors for the International Space Station (ISS). Cbana Labs has developed a series of volatile organic compound (VOC) detectors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. One of Cbana's sensors is a MEMS-based gas chromatograph with a micro flame ionization detector (FID). UNL’s role is to build a lunchbox-sized version of the FID device, which will help detect potentially harmful gases in the crew cabin of the ISS. Decades of work on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station have shown that flames, even micro-flames, behave quite differently in microgravity. Testing the performance of an FID device in microgravity, compared with the lab, will give valuable insight on whether the current design is suitable for space flight or if redesign is needed.

2012 UNL Microgravity University Team
Pictured above, (clockwise from top left) are: Jeremy Olson, Caleb Berggren, Shawn Schumacher, Dylan Horrocks, Matthew Manske* (team co-leader), Ryan van Waes* (team co-leader), Patrick Graeve, Eric Gutierrez, Team Adviser Carl Nelson* (associate professor – UNL Mechanical & Materials Engineering), Joan Yule*, Patricia Foley, Parise Reynolds, Bethany Drain*, Evan Hilgemann, Nicholas Goeser and Jacob Reher. Team members not pictured are: Eric Fritz*, Matthew Harnes, Emily Hubl, Jake Lewis, and Colton Mahoney.
Name: Class: Major: Hometown:
Jeremy Olson Freshman Mechanical & Materials Engineering Lincoln, Neb.
Caleb Berggren Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Blair, Neb.
Shawn Schumacher Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Columbus, Neb.
Dylan Horrocks Junior Biological Systems Engineering Lincoln, Neb.
Matthew Manske Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Fort Worth, Tex.
Ryan van Waes Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Blair, Neb.
Patrick Graeve Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Eric Gutierrez Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Sidney, Neb.
Joan Yule Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Bloomfield, Neb.
Patricia Foley Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Blair, Neb.
Parise Reynolds Freshman Mechanical & Materials Engineering Birmingham, Ala.
Bethany Drain Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Elkhorn, Neb.
Evan Hilgemann Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Nicholas Goeser Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Jacob Reher Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Eric Fritz Junior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Atkinson, Neb.
Matthew Harnes Freshman Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Omaha, Neb.
Emily Hubl Sophomore Biological Systems Engineering Lawrence, Neb.
Jake Lewis Senior Mechanical & Materials Engineering Las Vegas, Nev.
Colton Mahoney Sophomore Mechanical & Materials Engineering Rapid City, S.D.
Bold type indicates team member will travel to JSC for Flight Week; *indicates flyer or alternate flyer during missions.

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