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Campus News
     
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
March 15, 2004
Volume 39, Number 13

In Short

Biology hosts 2004 Research Day

Paul Ewald, professor from the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville, will be the keynote speaker for the 13th Annual Biology Research Day on Friday, April 9.

Ewald will present a talk, “The Startling Scope of Infectious Disease. Or, Why Cats and Kissing Are More Scary than SARS,” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Held in Castetter Hall, Research Day is an all-day presentation of undergraduate and graduate student research celebrating discovery and education in the biological sciences. Student posters will be displayed in the first and second floor hallways and oral presentations are set from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ewald’s talk will be held in Northrup Hall, rm. 122, and will be followed by a brief awards ceremony and reception.

UNM student team blasts off for Johnson Space Center

Nine UNM School of Engineering students last week zipped up their flight suits in preparation for a trip to Zero Gravity.

For the fourth consecutive year, students from the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering flew experiments on board the “Weightless Wonder,” a microgravity KC-135 airplane at Johnson Space Center in Houston.Two Albuquerque high school students joined UNM undergraduates as part of the NASA Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program.

Sponsored by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the program provides a rare academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment of their choice.

Experiments are conducted aboard the KC-135, a plane originally used in support of NASA missions. The Boeing 707 has been retrofit with massive turbo engines and padded walls. As a result, the plane can experience near weightlessness in a free fall. To do so, the plane takes off and climbs to an altitude where it can accelerate downward at the rate of gravity. Then it goes into a climb to regain its lost altitude and dives again.

Robert Busch, chemical and nuclear engineering professor, is the faculty advisor for the project.

NASA astronaut to speak

Franklin R. Chang-Díaz, astronaut and director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center, will speak at a Chemical and Nuclear Engineering department seminar, 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 6.

The presentation will be held in Mechanical Engineering, rm. 218.

Chang-Díaz will talk about his 21 years of research on the VASIMR engine and President Bush’s call for human lunar return.

Chang-Díaz is a veteran of seven NASA space flights. In 1993, he was appointed director of the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory, where he continues his research on plasma rockets.