The Low-Gravity Science and Technology Laboratory was founded in August 2022 and is now looking for two Ph.D. students interested in carrying out research on magnetically-enhanced low-gravity electrolysis and low-gravity liquid positioning. Interested applicants are encouraged to read our prospective students page and email Dr. Romero-Calvo with a short research statement and a copy of their CV. All applications are handled through https://gradapp.gatech.edu/apply/ and must be submitted by October 1st in order to be considered for the Spring semester.
Opening 1: Electromagnetically-enhanced low-gravity electrolysis
This position focuses on the development of novel low-gravity electrolytic cell architectures and devices that combine the gas production and gas separation stages into a single monolithic system. Magnetic, electric, and/or acoustic force fields will be leveraged to achieve this goal. This strategy is expected to improve the reliability and reduce the mass and power consumption of existing methods. Applications include life support for human spaceflight and spacecraft propulsion. The student will:
- Explore and master the fundamental physical mechanism related to low-gravity magneto/electrohydrodynamic and/or hydroacoustic flows.
- Develop new electrolytic cells using analytical and numerical fluid mechanics models.
- Design, build, fly, and analyze novel electrolytic cell architectures on drop towers, parabolic planes, and/or suborbital flights.
- Critically assess each new method and explore its suitability for space missions.
The candidate should have a well-balanced combination of analytical, numerical, and experimental skills, interest and/or experience in low-gravity science and technology, and a strong background in fluid mechanics. This project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Katharina Brinkert’s group at the University of Warwick and the Electrochemical Technologies Group at NASA JPL. See our prospective students page for further details and FAQs.
Opening 2: Electromagnetic positive positioning
The absence of buoyancy in microgravity severely complicates the management of multiphase flows, impacting propellant storage and transfer or multiphase thermal management. Our lab is exploring how to use electromagnetic forces to solve these problems. For instance, we are assessing the feasibility of using ferrofluids to build liquid mirrors in space, designing new methods to prevent the boil-off of cryogenic propellants, developing novel multiphase thermal management devices for spacecraft systems, studying how to make boilers more efficient on Earth, or even figuring out new ways to cook food in space! All of these problems are related to the active positioning of liquids, which implies studying the equilibrium, stability, and dynamic response of fluid interfaces. In particular, the student will:
- Explore and master the fundamental physical mechanisms related to low-gravity magneto/electrohydrodynamic and/or hydroacoustic flows.
- Develop space technologies using analytical and numerical fluid mechanics models. In particular, the equilibrium, stability, and dynamic response of liquid interfaces subject to electromagnetic forces will need to be addressed.
- Design, build, fly, and analyze a range of applications on drop towers, parabolic planes, and/or suborbital flights.
- Perform a feasibility analysis of new technologies
The candidate should have a well-balanced combination of analytical, numerical, and experimental skills, interest and/or experience in low-gravity science and technology, and a strong background in fluid mechanics. This project will apply to different space applications depending on funding availability and the student’s interests. See our prospective students page for further details and FAQs.
Do you have a research idea in the field of low-gravity science and technology that you are passionate about? Do you want to join our lab to develop it further? Email Dr. Romero-Calvo to find the most up-to-date details on open positions!
Are you an undergraduate student interested in our work? This is your lucky day! The LGST lab offers several opportunities for doing research with us. Here is the most up-to-date list.
AE Research Opportunities for Undergrad Students
The term “sloshing” refers to the movement of liquids in partially filled containers. Sloshing is key for space applications because it can significantly alter the dynamics of space vehicles, potentially leading to mission failure if not properly accounted for. Our lab is looking for students with a strong interest in rocket propulsion to develop an analytical open-access framework to study the sloshing of propellants in launch stages. Our goal is twofold: first, to recover, synthesize, and update the knowledge acquired in the field since the 1960s, and secondly, to make it accessible to everyone. Students will develop a graphical user interface in Python (preferred) or Matlab that will implement analytical tools and experimental correlations used to obtain the modal response of liquid interfaces. If needed, participants will also have the chance to experimentally obtain sloshing damping correlations for different tank shapes and propellant management devices. More info on the research and methods can be found at NASA’s SP-106 and F.T. Dodge’s “The New Dynamic Behavior of Liquids in Moving Containers” (available upon request). See the department’s website for further detail.
GT Drop Tower Challenge (VIP Course)
The LGST Lab wants to build a drop tower in our department, and we need you to help us do it! Read the full description here.