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Aug 26
UAH’s first Tech Trek an unqualified success
UAH’s first Tech Trek an unqualified success


This July, UAH hosted its first-ever Tech Trek, a weeklong residential camp to promote interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields among rising eighth-grade girls. And by every measure, says Camp Director Dr. Rhonda Gaede, it proved to be an unqualified success.

"On Sunday, the girls were names on forms to me; by Friday, they were friends that I hated to see go," says Dr. Gaede, who also serves as an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UAH. "On more than one occasion, parents used the words 'life changing' and 'once in a lifetime' about the camp."

That's because Tech Trek offered students the freedom to be creative - a freedom missing from most middle school curriculums. "The girls said that, at school, it was about getting the right answers. But at Tech Trek, it was about exploring possibilities and understanding that failure is part of the process," she says. "The process is so much more important than any answer, because the questions are going to change during the course of a forty-year career."



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Jason CassibryAssociate Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Technology Hall S232
(256) 824-5107
(256) 824-6758
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Mechanical Engineering, The University of Alabama in Huntsville 
Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign 
Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri in Rolla


Jason Cassibry obtained a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Missouri in Rolla in 1997, his M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1999, and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) while performing research at NASA MSFC in 2004.  His research involved numerical modeling of magnetized target fusion for propulsion.  From 2003-2004, he served as a research engineer in the Propulsion Research Center (PRC) at UAH and after receiving his Ph.D. became an assistant research professor.  While employed with the PRC he performed modeling studies for various electric propulsion and fusion concepts including pulsed plasma thrusters, mhd nozzles, inductively coupled plasma accelerators, and magnetized target fusion.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  His research involves the theoretical application of fluid mechanics, magnetohydrodynamics, and thermodynamics in the study of plasmas with application to plasma acceleration, in-space propulsion and fusion energy science.  Specific research areas include directly and inductively-coupled pulsed electromagnetic accelerators, high temperature equations of state, magneto-inertial fusion, z-pinch, and smoothed particle hydrodynamics.

Research Expertise

  • Pulsed Fusion for Propulsion and Power Production
  • Smooth Particle Hydrodynamic Modeling
  • High Temperature Equations of State

Honors & Awards

  • UAHuntsville Distinguished Research Award, May 2010, in recognition of outstanding contributions in research.  Award is competed among all faculty.
  • Outstanding Junior Professor for College of Engineering, February 2010, in recognition of outstanding contributions in both research and teaching as an assistant professor.

Recent Publications

Cassibry, J. T., “Comparison of Directly and Inductively Coupled Thrusters,” IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Special Issue on Plasma Propulsion, Part 1 of 4, October 2008, 13(5), pp. 2180-2188.

Cassibry, J. T., Cortez, R. J., Hsu, S. C., and Witherspoon, F. D., “Estimates of confinement time and energy gain for plasma liner driven magneto-inertial fusion using an analytic self-similar converging shock model,” Physics of Plasmas, 16, 112707 (2009).

Richardson, G. A., Cassibry, J. T., Chung, T. J. and Wu, S. T., “Finite Element Form of FDV for Widely Varying Flowfields,” Journal of Computational Physics, 229 (2010) 145-167.

A. G. Lynn, E. Merritt, M. Gilmore, S. C. Hsu, F. D. Witherspoon, and J. T. Cassibry, “Diagnostics for the Plasma Liner Experiment,” Review of Scientific Instruments 81, 10E115 2010.

Awe, T. J., Adams, C. S., Davis, J.S., Hanna, D. S., Hsu, S. C., Cassibry, J. T., “One-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamic scaling studies of imploding spherical plasma liners,” Physics of Plasmas 18, 072705, (2011).

S. C. Hsu, T. J. Awe, S. Brockington, A. Case, J. T. Cassibry, G. Kagan, S. J., Messer, M. Stanic, X. Tang, D. R. Welch, and F. D. Witherspoon, “Spherically Imploding Plasma Liners as a Standoff Driver for Magneto-Inertial Fusion,” IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science, special issue for 2011 ICOPS plenary & invited talks, peer reviewed, in review for publication in 2012.