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Aug 28
University seeks student research abstracts
University seeks student research abstracts

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Student researchers at UAH are being encouraged to submit abstracts of 250 words maximum outlining a design and research project relevant to the aerospace industry for consideration for the 7th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium coming to UAH Oct. 27-29.

Abstracts should be submitted online at http://www.vbsposters.org by Friday, Sept. 12. Authors will be notified of acceptance by Tuesday, Sept. 16 and an electronic poster template will be provided. Final posters are due by Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Abstracts on atmospheric science, earth observation, space life sciences, space health, aerospace systems engineering and design, astrophysics, space weather, optics, economics, business, policy, sustainability, history, international relations, education, science, STEM outreach initiatives or related areas are requested.

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

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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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xhabHUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of five universities chosen to participate in the 2013 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge led by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation.

This group of universities will design habitat systems, concepts and technologies that could be used in future deep space habitats, according to NASA. UAHuntsville will design and develop a microgravity random access stowage and rack system as part of this challenge.

This selection is the first milestone in a year-long process for these five teams. Throughout the 2012-2013 academic year, the teams will meet a series of milestones to design, manufacture, assemble and test their systems in cooperation with the NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program's Habitation Systems Project team.

"The X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge is an exciting opportunity to engage university teams in the design process for NASA's next generation space systems," said Jason Crusan, NASA's AES program manager. "The agency benefits from the fresh and innovative perspective of these university teams, and they learn about deep space human exploration and the systems engineering approach from an experienced NASA team."

The challenge is a university-level participatory exploration effort designed to encourage studies in spaceflight-related disciplines. The challenge encourages multidisciplinary approaches, further outreach efforts and partnering with experts and industry.

“We’re pleased with NASA’s selection of our university for this program,” said Dr. Shankar Mahalingam, Dean of UAHuntsville’s College of Engineering. “Our students will appreciate the challenge to explore NASA's work on the development of deep space habitats, and it’s also a great honor that our students will have a hand in America’s space agency in gathering new ideas to complement its current research and development.”

NASA selected these five teams from among a group of proposals received in May 2012. Other teams chosen by NASA for the X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge are:

· California State Polytechnic University: Vertical Habitability Layout and Fabrication Studies

· Oklahoma State University: Deep Space Habitat, Horizontal Habitability Layout Studies

· Texas A&M University: Wireless Smart Plug for DC Power

· University of Colorado at Boulder: Remote Plant Food Production Capability

The National Space Grant Foundation will fund design costs, development and delivery of the systems to the AES Habitat Systems team during the summer of 2013.

NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate's Advanced Exploration Systems Program, via the Habitat Systems Project team, is sponsoring the technology challenge. NASA is dedicated to supporting research that enables sustained and affordable human and robotic exploration. This educational challenge contributes to the agency's efforts to train and develop a highly skilled scientific, engineering and technical workforce for the future.

For information about competition registration and requirements, visit: http://www.spacegrant.org/xhab