On Deadline? Call 352-846-3903

UF experts on NASA and space-related research

The following University of Florida researchers are available to speak to reporters on a range of topics related to NASA and space-related research:

Peter Adams, associate professor of geology, Department of Geological Sciences, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Research interests:Quantitative geomorphology, coastal processes, real-time instrumentation and modeling of surface processes

Adams has studied the effects of climate change along the Florida Atlantic coast, particularly at Cape Canaveral, which could prove devastating to the Kennedy Space Center and could affect operations there within the next decade.

adamsp@ufl.edu

352-846-0825

 

Josephine Allen, assistant professor, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interests:Biomaterials, cell material interactions, stem cell differentiation

Allen received a NASA funded innovation award in 2016 to review open-access spaceflight data available via NASA’s GeneLab to understand how living systems adapt to space environment and how that knowledge can be applied to better understand systems on Earth.

jallen@mse.ufl.edu

352-846-3328

 

Wesley E. Bolch, professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering; director, Advanced Laboratory for Radiation Dosimetry Studies

Research interests:Dosimetry, computational medical physics and dose assessment

Bolch worked with a NASA grant in 2013 on a comparative study of space radiation organ doses and associated cancer risks using one-dimensional and three-dimensional radiation transport systems. He is the author of more than 200 publications in the areas of external and internal radiation dosimetry, a Fellow of both the Health Physics Society and American Association of Physicists in Medicine and is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award by the Health Physics Society.

wbolch@ufl.edu

352-273-0303

 

Jacob N. Chung, Andrew H. Hines/Progress Energy Professor and Florida Eminent Scholar, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interests: Fluid mechanics and heat transfer with a focus on bubble dynamics, phase change heat transfer and multiphase flows

Chung founded UF’s Cryogenic Thermal Fluids Lab, which with more than 20 years of experience in microgravity boiling and heat transfer, has positioned itself as one of the best labs on cryogenic heat transfer in the country. Chung’s group developed the first drop tower outside of NASA and produced the first cryogenic chilldown visualizations through in-flight microgravity experiments at NASA.

jnchung@ufl.edu

352-392-9607

 

John Conklin, associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interests:Development of precision instruments for spacecraft navigation and gravitational science and design and analysis of space missions that depend on these technologies

Conklin’s Precision Space Systems Lab is using a $2.8 million NASA grant to develop a system for detecting background noise that could obscure data recordings of NASA’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LSIA), which measures ripples in gravitational waves. He received the NASA Early Career Faculty Award in 2014.

jwconklin@ufl.edu

352-392-0614

 

Robert Ferl, professor, Department of Horticultural Sciences, UF/IFAS; and director, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research

Research interest:Use of genetic engineering to design plants in which the adaptation response to a specific kind of stress is visible to the researcher in an effort to answer questions about the effects of space flight on plant biology

Paul and UF plant molecular biologist Anna-Lisa Paullead a team focused on growing plants in space environments. Visit the UF Space Plants Lab websitefor more information.

robferl@ufl.edu

352-273-4822

 

Norman Fitz-Coy, associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering; and director, Advanced Space Technologies Research and Engineering Center

Research interests:Improving models that predict characteristics of space debris resulting from hypervelocity impacts in low earth orbit to ensure that space traffic remains relatively accident-free

Fitz-Coy is working to solve the problem of space debris with a $3 million grant from NASA.

nfc@ufl.edu

352-392-1029

 

David Kaber,chair and Dean’s Leadership Professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research Interests: Human-systems engineering, in particular, measures, models and methods for human performance in complex systems

Kaber worked with NASA Langley Research Center Aviation Safety Program funding to study aviation display clutter and its impact on pilot performance.

dkaber@ise.ufl.edu

 

Michele Manuel, chair and Rolf E. Hummel Professorship for Electronic Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research Interests:Materials design, metallurgy mechanical behavior, composites, metallic biomaterials, nuclear materials

Manuel and her lab are collaborating with NASA to develop a lightweight magnesium alloy that is stronger and lighter than steel and aluminum to create light spacecraft and reduce radiation exposure to crew and equipment.

mmanuel@mse.ufl.edu

352-846-3780

 

Ranga Narayanan,Distinguished Professor and William P. and Tracy Cirioli Term Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interest: Interfacial instabilities, transport phenomena with materials science and biomedical applications

Narayanan and his group received a NASA grant for work extending to 2020 for materials lab investigations aboard the International Space Station.

ranga@ufl.edu

352-392-9103

 

Anna-Lisa Paul, research professor, Department of Horticultural Sciences, UF/IFAS

Research interest:Use of genetic engineering to design plants in which the adaptation response to a specific kind of stress is visible to the researcher in an effort to answer questions about the effects of space flight on plant biology

Paul and UF plant molecular biologist Robert Ferl lead a team focused on growing plants in space environments. Visit the UF Space Plants Lab website for more information.

alp@ufl.edu

352-273-4855

 

Corin Segal, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interests:Combustion, fluid diagnostics, Fluid mechanics, aircraft design

Segal spent 11 years in industry, mostly as an aerodynamicist with Israel Aircraft Industries. He is executive director of the Institute for Future Space Transportation, a NASA URETI established in 2002. He is an Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow.

cor@ufl.edu

352-392-6132

 

Rachael Seidler, professor, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, UF College of Health and Human Performance

Research interests:Neural control of movement in health and disease, motor control in healthy young and older adults, patients with Parkinson’s disease and NASA astronauts

Seidler’s NASA-supported research includes investigation of human brain plasticity with spaceflight.

rachaelseidler@ufl.edu

352-294-1722

 

Mark Settles, Vasil-Monsanto professor of plant cell and molecular biology, Department of Horticultural Sciences, UF/IFAS

Research interests:Seed development and seed phenomics

Settles and his team have devised breathable plastics to store algae, which can be used for biofuels in space, to ensure its survival aboard space vehicles.

settles@ufl.edu

(352) 392-7571

 

Michael Tonks, associate professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

Research interests: Computational materials science, computational mechanics, coevolution of microstructure and properties, materials in harsh environments, mesoscale modeling and simulation

Tonks is the primary investigator on an early innovation grant from NASA, studying the performance of Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator materials. He is developing a modeling tool that will help test and predict the performance of protective materials.

Michael.tonks@ufl.edu

352-846-3779