LSC-CyFair Honors Faculty Dr. Yiheng Wang and Dr. Jared Cammon
Honors STEM courses, seminars and independent studies allow students to explore their disciplines through a focus on research and hands-on learning. But the innovative learning taking place in these classes would not happen without dedicated faculty like Dr. Yiheng Wang and Dr. Jared Cammon.
For several years now, these LSC-CyFair engineering professors have taught an Honors Special Topics in Engineering Research seminar that culminates with participation in the NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) Design Challenge. Sponsored by NASA and administered by TSGC topics are submitted by researchers working with NASA or its contractor community on current projects of interest within NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. To meet these challenges, students work as teams facilitated by faculty advisors and a NASA workplace mentor.
Dr. Wang and Dr. Cammons have shepherded three successful student teams to take top awards in competition with other Texas colleges, such as the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas State University. In 2019, they worked on the TSGC and NASA Micro-g NExT Design Challenge and designed a pivot mechanism named Artemis Rotating Multi-position Swivel (A.R.M.S.). The tool is simple enough for an astronaut to use during their lunar surface expeditions with EVA gloved hands. It is reliably dust-tolerant, making sample collecting more efficient than in previous NASA lunar missions. Team CRATER had to meet challenging deadlines set forth by NASA and dealt with the obstacles resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The team went on to win 1st place Top Design Team at Fall 2019 TSGC Showcase event (and later won 2nd place in Spring 2020). After Team CRATER successfully directed (virtually) tests of the design prototype at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in September 2020, Lone Star College proceeded with filing a patent application on A.R.M.S.
NASA-NBL testing of Team Crater prototype
The 2020-2021 challenge focused on NASA's plans to return humans to the Moon by 2024 through the Artemis program and pave the way for future missions to Mars. This challenge required students to update its current EVA receptacle system to better suit the conditions on the dusty lunar surface. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Team Calypso has undertook designing an attachment method for EVA tools for the new generation spacesuit, the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU). The team's design, named Interlocking System for Lunar Exploration (I.S.L.E.), allows astronauts using EVA gloves easy attachment and detachment of the EVA tools to and from the xEMU tool belt. Further, the design is dust-tolerant, lightweight, and compact. While still impacted by the pandemic, Team Calypso won 1st place Top Design Team at Spring 2021 TSGC Showcase event (they also won 2nd place in Fall 2020).
Dr. Wang and Dr. Cammon do not spend much time talking about their own contributions to these successes despite long hours of course planning and support. Instead, they give the credit to their student teams.
“The students accomplishments were especially significant because the teams were competing against mostly senior-level capstone students from larger Texas four-year universities. More impressively, all three Honors student teams never lost their determination, they worked hard and well remotely, and they produced high quality work. The incredible professionalism, perseverance, and team cohesion the Honors teams demonstrated have made them stand out among schools in Texas and even across the country.”
In addition to the Faculty Spotlight, we also recognize the talented, dedicated students from this year’s successful Team Calypso and the previous teams who set the stage for LSC’s stellar record with the NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) Design Challenge!
LONE STAR COLLEGE - CYFAIR – CALYPSO
Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment: Space Suit Attachment Quick Release System Semester II of II
Institution: Lone Star College - CyFair Department Represented: BIOE, EE, ME Team: Alma Gallardo*, John Lentz, Minh Thu Nguyen, Kyle Randall, Xavier Shockney Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yiheng Wang Mentored By: Micro-g NExT
LONE STAR COLLEGE - CYFAIR - COSMOS
Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment: Lunar Surface Operations - Dust-Tolerant Loose Sample Device Semester II of II
Institution: Lone Star College - CyFair Department Represented: ME Team: Derek Finke*, Steve Finke, Ashley Guerrero, Angelica Maria Martinez, Shane Kosik Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yiheng Wang & Jared A. Cammon Mentored By: Micro-g NExT
LONE STAR COLLEGE - CYFAIR - CRATER
Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment: Lunar Surface Operations - Dust Tolerant Pivot Mechanism Semester II of II
Institution: Lone Star College - CyFair Department Represented: BIO ENG / EE Team: Humberto Leal Acosta*, Vanessa Hernandez, Robert Clough, Edgar Flores, Xavier Shockney Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yiheng Wang & Jared A. Cammon Mentored By: Micro-g NExT