Graduate student in Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Two years ago Will was working for a painting contracting company, now he is in his second year of the Master of Science program in Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) living his boyhood dream of collaborating with NASA.
Will is one of several students who are working with MME Professor Mark Weislogel to conduct experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) that study large length scale capillary flows and phenomena. Liquids in space behave differently than they do on Earth due to low gravity; studying capillary forces is essential to producing better space craft systems.
On a recent Capillary Flow Experiment, Will found himself as the first Maseeh College student to act as Principal Investigator (PI) on one of the PSU-ISS experiments. As PI, Will worked out of the PSU ground station in Portland to manage a live connection to payload command in Houston, which connected him directly to the astronaut on the ISS conducting the experiment. The experiment was run by ISS Commander Dan Burbank, who made a special request to speak directly to Will during the experiment. Conversation with astronaut Dan Burbank
Will describes his work with Professor Weislogel as serendipitous. Though he has an undergraduate degree in astrophysics, Will was unaware of the opportunity to conduct experiments on the ISS before Professor Weislogel invited him to join his team. After completing his Master of Science at the Maseeh College, Will hopes to work for NASA or a private company helping to develop space craft systems.