Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute


International Students Receive Hands-On Research Opportunities in Lunar Geology and Aerospace Engineering

July 1, 2011
Source: USRA

Pictured from left to right:  Dr. Donald Kniffen, Dr. Stephen Mackwell, Bhavesh Jaiswal, Apoov Mehta, Dr.  Hussein Jirdeh, Ankush Kumar, Vaibhav Dixit, Pulkit Goyal, and Dr. Erian Armanios. Credit:  USRA/LPI.The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, Texas, and the University of Texas at Arlington recently hosted five undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Science and Technology (IIST) in Thiravanathapuram, India. The students were accepted as part of the 2011 Universities Space Research Association (USRA) undergraduate student research program.

Beginning April 1, this 13-week program provided the IIST students with the unique opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research in lunar and planetary science. The students worked closely with LPI scientists on research projects pertaining to lunar geology, with particular emphasis on the geology of impact craters by using recently acquired imagery from current lunar missions.

The program was made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USRA and IIST. The University of Texas at Arlington also participated in the program as a collaborative partner.

The program culminated with a closing ceremony on June 23, during which the students presented the results of the research they had conducted while at the LPI and UT Arlington. Presentations were also made by LPI postdoctoral fellows Dr. Gerald Galgana and Dr. Juliane Gross. The ceremony opened with comments by Dr. Donald Kniffen, USRA Vice President for Science; Dr. Stephen Mackwell, LPI Director; and Dr. Erian Armanios, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington; and it concluded with a reception honoring the students. Dr. Hussein Jirdeh, USRA Director of University Relations, also attended the ceremony.

LPI Director, Dr. Stephen Mackwell, remarked on the success of the inaugural program, stating that “the high caliber of the student participants and the results of their research will clearly have a significant impact on future collaborations within the international scientific community.”

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