Professor, Aerospace Engineering
John & Bea Slattery Chair
Director, Aerospace Human Systems Laboratory (AHSL)
Director, Aerospace Human Research Centrifuge Facility
Member, National Academy of Engineering
Corr Member, Royal Society of Edinburgh
International Academy of Astronautics, Academician
Member, Royal Aeronautical Society
Professor Dunbar is an American engineer and retired NASA astronaut. She flew on five Space Shuttle missions between 1985 and 1998, including two dockings with the Mir space station. Since leaving NASA, she has worked in museums and STEM leadership, and is currently with Texas A&M University, Department of Aerospace Engineering. Professor Dunbar is the John & Bea Slattery Chair. Director, Aerospace Human Systems Lab. Director, Aerospace Human Research Centrifuge Facility.
Dr. Dunbar was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2002, for personal leadership and significant contributions to solutions to engineering design problems in human space flight and to on-orbit operations.
Dillon C. Hall
Dillon Hall is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is from Saltillo, Mississippi, and is interested in space suit design. Dillon’s primary research focuses on analyzing previous space suit designs from Apollo-era to present day in order to determine engineering variables that contribute to the construction of an extravehicular activity (EVA) pressure garment. His research would help develop space suits that can be custom-fitted to astronauts while still being mobile, ergonomic, efficiently made, and cost-effective.
Maddie M. Haas
Maddie Haas is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is from Menomonie, Wisconsin and is interested in space suit and life support system design. Maddie is conducting research on how heat rejection of the human body changes depending on gravity.
Jadon R. Kaercher
Jadon Kaercher is a Masters Student in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is from Memphis, Tennessee, and is interested in mechanical design and partial gravity fluid physics. Jadon’s primary research focuses on the design and testing of a partial gravity experiment, which will validate previous CFD work completed in two-phase fluid physics to inform future In Situ Research Utilization (ISRU) for planetary life support systems.
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Lewis “Jed” Simms
Jed Simms is first year Master of Science – Thesis student in the Aerospace Engineering department at Texas A&M University. He is from Denton, Texas and is interested in Human Spaceflight and Space Robotics. His thesis will focus on the development of a space suit testing robot which will measure the forces and torques required to manipulate various space suit arm designs.
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Paul Burke graduated with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2021. He is from Bel Air, Maryland and is interested in partial gravity human space flight and multi-phase fluid systems. Paul researched bubble formation and detachment in 1 g, partial gravity, and microgravity. Paul’s research produced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models of bubble formation and detachment from a submerged orifice across various gravity levels. By using an Earth-based experimental apparatus, 1 g bubble formation and detachment models were developed and validated. The experiment included a low speed gas injection system and a custom-built, multi-axis high speed imaging system. The 1 g models was then extended and scaled to partial gravity levels. All CFD models were developed using a Volume of Fluid (VOF) solver in OpenFOAM. Understanding bubble formation, growth, and detachment, specifically in microgravity and partial gravity, is a critical component of designing more efficient multi-phase thermal management systems, phase separators, and life support systems.
Patrick Chapates graduated from Texas A&M University in 2019, with a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He is from Allen, Texas, and is interested in human systems integration, structural design, high-performance computing, and ECLSS design. Patrick’s work in the lab included glovebox design and development as well as digital scanning and 3D printing. Additionally, he developed a Finite Element Model to study the interaction between the human hand and extravehicular activity (EVA) glove. After graduation, entered the Aerospace industry as an environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) and structural design engineer. Outside of work, Patrick enjoys being outdoors, including mountain biking and sailing.
Daniel Varnum-Lowry graduated from Texas A&M University in 2020, with a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He is from Washington State and is interested in manned spaceflight and space exploration. Daniel’s work focused on partial gravity fluid physics, particularly in experimental design and prototyping for the various research projects in the lab. When not working, Daniel can be found biking, skiing, and fishing.
Lexi Heinimann graduated from Texas A&M University in 2020, with a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. She is from New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, and is interested in human spaceflight support systems. Lexi’s work included researching the effects of microgravity on the human thermoregulatory system, which will be used to redesign the liquid cooling and ventilation garment (LCVG). After graduation, she accepted a position in the aerospace industry working on supporting human spaceflight. Outside of school, Lexi enjoys spending time with her dog and practicing archery.
Nick Eley graduated from Texas A&M University in 2020, majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He is from Spring, Texas and is interested in human spaceflight support and operations. His work in the lab was centered around developing the electrical and control system for the glovebox. In his free time, Nick enjoys participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and scuba diving.