After two days of interviewing and filming and a week of work by Uprooted Productions, we are excited to share the story of our team:
On May 28, 2021, Pedro B. C. Leal became the latest student to successfully complete the journey to a doctoral degree under Dr. Hartl. Pedro was one of the first students recruited into the MAESTRO Laboratory at its founding, having also spent his senior year working under Dr. Hartl before returning to Brazil to complete his undergraduate degree and also obtain a Masters of Science.
The second AERO 402 capstone design team to address Retro Rocket development challenges completed their work this week, releasing a second summary video that provides project history and updates.
As officially announced in April, Dr. Hartl was named a winner of a 2020-2021 Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Teaching Awards. The nomination packet included letters of support and nomination from several past students and past teaching assistants, including some who have successfully transitioned coursework content into critical professional capabilities.[Original Story]
Students at Texas A&M University are bringing vintage into the future with a new virtual reality (VR) experience for aspiring engineers — the Retro Rocket.
Teams from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering have worked to repurpose an old metal rocket car from a 1950s carnival ride and turn it into a VR flight simulator. The end product will travel with Spark! PK-12, the College of Engineering’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach group, to introduce young minds to the excitement of engineering.
Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Ohio used a 3D printer to prototype and bench test what they call a “structurally embedded vascular antenna.”
The antenna’s elements can be manipulated, changing their radiation patterns and frequency response, by pumping liquid metal alloy in and out of the tubes that make up the vascular network. Flow meters and optical sensors control the pump.
It’s a slick idea and allows the formation of antennas inside structures that can change shapes delivering “electromagnetic agility.” [Continue reading Original Story by Troy Carter]
Only 17 months after reaching 3000 citations and while still officially an Assistant Professor, Dr. Hartl has reached the 4000 citation mark according to Google Scholar.
With an h-index of 25 and with 65 publications having over 10 citations, Dr. Hartl continues to work with his students to make an impact on the smart materials and adaptive structures community in particular. Highly cited publications from the MAESTRO Lab address such topics as shape memory alloys, active origami, and multi-functional composites. Newer papers have addressed fracture and fatigue of shape memory alloy materials, new topological design methods, new actuator concepts, and new methods for coupled fluid-structural analysis specifically tuned for adaptive aerostructures applications.
As humankind steps into new frontiers in space exploration, satellites and space vehicles will need to pack more cargo for the long haul. However, certain items, like dish antennas used for wireless communication, pose a challenge since they cannot be very densely packed for flight because of their signature bowl shape.
Now, researchers at Texas A&M University have used the principles of origami — the ancient Japanese art of paper folding — to create a parabolic structure from a flat surface using a shape-memory polymer. When heated, the researchers showed that the shape-memory polymer changes its shape in a systematic way that mimics folds. This reshaping lifts the material into the shape of a dish. Further, they also showed that their origami-engineered dish antennas performed as efficiently as conventional smooth dish antennas.
Dr. Brent Bielefeldt ’16, ’20 discovered his interest for structural design in middle school when, during career day, his friend’s dad designed an entire airplane on the computer in less than 30 minutes. He was fascinated by the tools and their capabilities at this engineer’s fingertips. Eventually, Bielefeldt’s interest in engineering led him to pursue his master’s and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University, where he began developing a tool of his own that would solve a current concern in the field of topology optimization. (Original story here; credit Felysha Walker)
Three countries, five time zones and a range of technical and business backgrounds. Jessica Zamarripa, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and member of the MAESTRO Lab, along with a team of international researchers, is working to create a novel wearable patch to help medical professionals remotely monitor patients’ vitals and reduce hospital overcrowding during and after COVID-19.
Given the various constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual summer research experiences for undergraduates at Texas A&M looked a little different this year. The Materials Science and Engineering Department proceeded to develop and manage a very successful Online Research Experience for Undergraduates (O-REU), which included two students advised by Dr. Hartl. [Videos provided below]