NASA CT Space Consortium Grants Awarded to School of Engineering & Computing

NASA CT Space Consortium Grants Awarded to School of Engineering & Computing

Shuttle launch behind a dark blue sky.

Fairfield engineers secured four grants in the 2023-24 funding cycle, to advance research on topics ranging from multi-modal datasets for Martian landslide segmentation to a cost-effective vibration table.

The NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC) has awarded Fairfield University School of Engineering and Computing with four research grants to fund research and design projects this year. In fall of 2023, assistant professor of computer science Sidike Paheding, PhD, assistant professor of mechanical engineering David Shekhtman, PhD, Seamus Dwyer ’24, and Dermot Warner ’24 received research grants. Lucas Danburg ’27 was awarded an undergraduate scholarship, and Gabriel Grant ’25 received the Community College Transfer Scholarship.

"These awards from NASA are further evidence of the steadfast commitment from the School of Engineering and Computing faculty towards conducting cutting-edge translational research,” said Dean Andres L. Carrano, PhD.  

Dr. Paheding received funding for his research on "MARSLIDE: Mapping MARtian LandSLIDEs and Understanding their Morphological Characteristics Via Deep Learning and Multimodal Imagery." Traditional landslide studies rely on labor-intensive visual interpretations of medium to high-resolution optical images, which can be subjective and time-consuming. In contrast, the deep learning-based landslide segmentation method streamlines this process, reducing the need for extensive human labor and expertise in feature extraction. This research aims to develop advanced deep learning algorithms to automate Mars landslide mapping, unveiling spatial patterns and process mechanisms. 

Dr. Shekhtman was awarded funding for his research titled "Parametric Study of (2+1)- Multiphoton Acetone Excitation for Nonintrusive Laser Diagnostics of High-Speed Flow Over Canonical Flight Geometries in Ground-Testing." His research aims to explore how the signal and timescale of laser-induced acetone fluorescence can be further increased for the purposes of measuring speed and temperature in high speed flows. The optimal conditions for acetone excitation will be explored to satisfy the needs of the hypersonic ground testing community. The research will use 266-nm laser to excite acetone to give off light that will be captured on a camera for data collection and will be used to evaluate optimal excitation conditions.

Dwyer received a grant for his study, "Automated Coil Pipe End Deburring System,” and Warner was recognized for his research on a “Cost Effective Vibration Table.”

The NASA Connecticut Space Grant Consortium is a federally mandated grant, internship, and scholarship program that is funded as a part of NASA Education. The mission of the Consortium is to establish and promote NASA-related research opportunities that draw on the collaborative strength of private, academic, and government sectors, and to support education initiatives that inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

Learn more about the School of Engineering and Computing at

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