Press Release

NASA Announces Research Grants in Microgravity Materials Research

By SpaceRef Editor
January 6, 2000
Filed under

Renee Juhans

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-1712)



NASA has selected 65 researchers to receive grants totaling
approximately $22 million over four years to conduct microgravity
materials science research on Earth and in space.

Sponsored by NASA’s Office of Life and Microgravity Science
and Applications, this research offers investigators the
opportunity to use a low-gravity environment to enhance the
understanding of fundamental physical and chemical processes
associated with materials science.

Researchers will use NASA’s microgravity research facilities
such as drop tubes, drop towers, and aircraft flying parabolic
trajectories, with the flight-definition investigators working
toward experiments on space-flight test beds such as the
International Space Station and Space Shuttle.

Sixty of the grants are to conduct ground-based research,
while the remaining five are flight-definition efforts. Twenty-
two of these grants are for continuation of work currently being
funded by NASA, but the remaining 43 represent new research

NASA received 232 proposals in response to this research
announcement. These proposals were all peer-reviewed by
scientific and technical experts from academia, government, and
industry. In addition, those proposals selected for flight
definition were reviewed in terms of engineering feasibility by a
team from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL.

A list of awardees (by state), their institutions, and
research titles can be found on the Internet at:


Materials Science PI Funding Information

Flight-Based Research


Professor Christoph Beckermann
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
“Dendritic Alloy Solidification Experiment (DASE)”

Professor Rohit Trivedi
Iowa State University
Ames, IA
“Dynamical Selection of Three-Dimensional Interfacial Patterns in
Directional Solidification”


Professor Merton C. Flemings
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
“The Role of Convection and Growth Competition on Phase Selection
in Microgravity”


Dr. Kenneth F. Kelton
Washington University, St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
“Studies of Nucleation and Growth, Specific Heat and Viscosity of
Undercooled Melts of Quasicrystals and Polytetrahedral-Phase-
Forming Alloys”


Professor Prabir Dutta
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH
“Fundamental Studies of Crystal Growth of Microporous Materials”

Ground-Based Research


Dr. Ching-Hua Su
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL
“Structural Fluctuations and Thermophysical Properties of Molten
II-VI Compounds”

Dr. Konstantin Mazuruk
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL
“Effects of Traveling Magnetic Field on Dynamics of

Dr. Donald C. Gillies
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
“Use of Computed Tomography for Characterizing Materials Grown
Terrestrially and in Microgravity”

Dr. Edwin C. Ethridge
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL
“Mechanism for the Crystallization Studies of ZBLAN”

Professor Jimmy W. Mays
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
“Controlled Synthesis of Nanoparticles using Block Copolymers:
Nanoreaction in Microgravity Conditions”


Professor Kenneth A. Jackson
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
“Growth of Rod Eutectics”


Dr. Satwindar S. Sadhal
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
“Non-Intrusive Measurement of Thermophysical Properties of Liquids
by Electrostatic-Acoustic Hybrid Levitation”

Professor John F. Brady
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
“Dispersion Microstructure and Rheology in Ceramics Processing”

Professor George M. Homsy
Stanford University
Stanford, CA
“Solid State Electrochemical Oxygen Conversion for Martian and
Lunar Environments: Materials Development, Reactor Concepts, and
Chemical Conversion Cycles”

Dr. Allen K. MacKnight
AlliedSignal Inc.
Torrance, CA
“Advanced Materials Growth in Microgravity: Carbon Nanotubes,
Semiconductors and Advanced Nanocomposites”

Dr. Won-Kyu Rhim
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
“Measurements of Thermophysical Properties of Molten Silicon and

Professor Paul D. Ronney
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
“Extinction and Instability Mechanisms of Polymerization Fronts”

Dr. Tony W. Armstrong
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
San Diego, CA
“Development of a Monte Carlo Radiation Transport Code System for

Dr. Cary J. Zeitlin
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, CA
“Measurement of Charged Particle Interactions in Spacecraft and
Planetary Habitat Shielding Materials”

Dr. Jack Miller
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, CA
“Radiation Transport Properties of Potential In-Situ-Developed
Regolith-Epoxy Materials for Martian Habitats”


Dr. Larry W. Mason
Lockheed Martin Astronautics
Denver, CO
“C0(2) Acquisition Membrane (CAM)”


Professor Reza Abbaschian
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
“Morphological Stability of Faceted Interfaces”

Professor Timothy J. Anderson
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
“An Electrochemical Method to Visualize Flow in Liquid Metals”

Professor Daniel R. Talham
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
“The Features of Self-Assembling Organic Bilayers Important to the
Formation of Anisotropic Inorganic Materials in Low -gravity


Dr. Jonathan A. Dantzig
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL
“Phase Field Modeling of Microstructure Development in

Dr. Jens Alkemper
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
“The Evolution of Dendrite Morphology during Isothermal

Dr. Shankar Krishnan
Containerless Research, Inc.
Evanston, IL
“Structure-Property Correlations of Phase Transitions in Group IV
and III-V Liquids”

Dr. John S. Walker
University of Illinois, Urbana
Urbana, IL
“Models to Optimize the Benefits of Rotating Magnetic Fields for
Semiconductor Crystal Growth in Space”

Dr. Richard Weber
Containerless Research, Inc.
Evanston, IL
“Process-Property-Structure Relationships in Complex Oxide Melts”


Dr. David R. Johnson
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN
“Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Growth Morphologies
of Peritectic Reactions”


Professor Mark D. Hollingsworth
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS
“Crystal Growth of New Families of Ferroelastic Materials”

Professor Kenneth J. Klabunde
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS
“Nanocrystal Superlattices: Synthesis and Properties”


Professor Alain S. Karma
Northeastern University
Boston, MA
“Phase-field Simulations of Dendritic Growth at Low Undercooling:
Confronting Theory and Experiment”

Professor Michael Cima
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
“Forces During Manufacture and Assembly of Microscale Discrete
Electronic Components”

Professor Michael Tsapatsis
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA
“Thin Film Molecular Sieve Synthesis: Processing-Microstructure
Relationships and the Effect of Gravity on Microstructure”

Professor Donald R. Sadoway
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
“From Oxygen Generation to Metal Production: In Situ Resource
Utilization by Molten Oxide Electrolysis”

Professor Frans A. Spaepen
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
“Glass Formation, Nucleation and Diffusion in Metallic Melts”

Professor George Benedek
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
“Kinetic Evolution of Stable and Metastable States in Protein

Dr. Thomas P. Russell
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA
“Capillary Wavelengths at Interfaces: The Role of Gravity and
Electric Field Enhancement”

Dr. David L. Kaplan
Tufts University
Medford, MA
“Hierarchical Assembly of Collagen”


Dr. Geoffrey B. McFadden
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD
“Convective and Morphological Instabilities During Crystal Growth”

Dr. Richard H. Maurer
The Johns Hopkins University
Laurel, MD
“Development of a Neutron Spectrometer to Assess Biological
Radiation Damage Behind Spacecraft Materials”


Professor Andre Benard
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
“Investigation of Solidification Processes with Convection Using
Meshless Methods and Quantitative Experimental Verification”


Professor Jeffrey J. Derby
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
“First Principles Calculations of Molten II-VI Compounds and Their
Solidification Behavior”


Professor Nancy Ma
University of Missouri, Rolla
Rolla, MO
“Models of Mass Transport during Microgravity Crystal Growth of
Alloyed Semiconductors in a Magnetic Field”


Dr. Joe B. Whitehead
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS
“Phase Separation and Self-Assembly of Liquid Crystals and
Polymer Dispersions: A Ground-Based Feasibility Study for

New Jersey

Dr. Edward L. Dreizin
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Newark, NJ
“High Temperature Phases and Phase Equilibria in Reactive Molten
Metal-Based Systems”

New York

Professor Martin E. Glicksman
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY
“Follow-on Research Activities for the Rensselaer Isothermal
Dendritic Growth Experiment”

Professor Nicholas J. Zabaras
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
“On the Control of the Effects of Gravity on the Solidification
Microstructures using Optimally Designed Thermal Boundary Fluxes
and Electromagnetic Fields”

Dr. David J. Larson
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY
“Defects Numerically Decreased (DENUDE)”

Dr. William R. Wilcox
Clarkson University
Potsdam, NY
“Residual Gas Effects on Detached Solidification in Microgravity”

Professor Miriam H. Rafailovich
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY
“Microgravity Processing of Polymer Thin Films”

Professor Albert J. Sievers
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
“Influence of Homogeneity and Fragility on the Dynamical
Properties of Glassy Networks”

North Carolina

Professor Nikolaus Dietz
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC
“Optical Characterization of Gas Phase, Gas Phase Chemistry, and
Surface Chemistry during High Pressure Vapor Phase Deposition
Processes under Laminar and Turbulent Flow Conditions”


Dr. Iwan Alexander
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
“Vibrations and g-Jitter: Transport Disturbances due to Residual
Acceleration During Low Gravity Directional Solidification

Dr. Padetha Tin
NASA Glenn Research Center
Cleveland, OH
“Interfacial Energy Determination of Succinonitrile and
Succinonitrile-Acetone Alloy Using Surface Light Scattering


Professor Robert F. Sekerka
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
“Lattice Boltzmann Computations of Binary Diffusion in Liquids
Under Stochastic Microgravity”

Professor Gregory S. Rohrer
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA
“Shape Evolution of Small Ceramic Materials”

Dr. Daniel A. Hammer
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
“Polymosomes: Tough Giant Vesicles from Block Copolymers”


Professor Robert J. Bayuzick
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
“Investigation of the Relationship Between Undercooling and
Solidification Velocity”

Professor Kenneth Debelak
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
“Recovery of Minerals in Martian Soils via Supercritical Fluid


Professor Lawrence S. Pinsky
University of Houston
Houston, TX
“Development of a Space Radiation Monte-Carlo Simulation Based
Upon The FLUKA and ROOT Codes”


Dr. Jules Magda
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
“Novel Microstructures for Polymer-Liquid Crystal Composite


Dr. Ben Q. Li
Washington State University
Pullman, WA
“Study of Magnetic Field Effects on Convection and Solidification
in Normal and Microgravity”


Professor John H. Perepezko
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Madison, WI
“Analysis of Containerless Solidification Microstructures in
Undercooled Melts and Composite Systems”

SpaceRef staff editor.