Ryan Hurley and Rui Ni, assistant professors in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a 2020 Space@Hopkins Seed Grant.

In their proposal, titled “Electrostatically-Charged Contact Mechanics in Lunar and Martian Dust Environments,” the pair aims to create novel proof-of-concept experiments with the specific goal of relating particle roughness and charging to cohesion and friction during mechanical contact of rough particles with rough or smooth surfaces. Data from these experiments will highlight the team’s unique experimental capabilities and for expanded research efforts involving a broader study of tribocharging and charged-particle-laden gas flows funded by NASA and other agencies. Their findings could help NASA develop new technologies to protect against the hazardous effects of lunar dust on future missions.

The goal of the Space@Hopkins Seed Grant program is to provide seed funding for civilian space related projects at Johns Hopkins that: (1) are relevant to Space@Hopkins and JHU institutional research priorities, (2) provide undergraduate research opportunities, (3) have excellent prospects for leading to successful external research support.

For more information on the Space@Hopkins Seed Grant program, click here.