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Hartzell, Christine M.

Hartzell, Christine M.
Assistant Professor
Department of Aerospace Engineering
3178 Glenn L. Martin Hall, Building 088

Research Interests 

  • Planetary science
  • Orbital mechanics
  • Plasma physics
  • Granular mechanics
  • Spacecraft design


Christine Hartzell received her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012. Her thesis topic was electrostatic dust motion near the surface of asteroids and the Moon. After completing her Ph.D., she was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Keck Institute for Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology, where she studied granular media. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008. Her research focuses on dust motion on airless bodies for the purpose of understanding the evolution of these bodies and improving the design of spacecraft to explore them.


  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2012
  • B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008

Selected Publications 


  • Hartzell, X. Wang, D. Scheeres, M. Horanyi. “Experimental Demonstration of the Role of Cohesion in Electrostatic Dust Lofting” Geophysical Research Letters. 2013. Vol 40, doi: 10.1002/grl.50230.
  • Hartzell, D. Scheeres. “Dynamics of Levitating Dust Particles Near Asteroids and the Moon” Journal of Geophysical Research. 2013. Vol 118, pp 116-125.


  • Hartzell, D. Scheeres. “The Role of Cohesive Forces in Particle Launching on the Moon and Asteroids” Planetary and Space Sciences. 2011. Vol 59, pp 1758-1768.


  • Scheeres, C. Hartzell, P. Sánchez, M. Swift. “Scaling Physics to Asteroid Surfaces: The Role of Cohesion” Icarus. 2010. Vol 210, pp 968-984.


  • Masiero, C.M. Hartzell, D.J. Scheeres. “The Effect of the Dust Size Distribution on Asteroid Polarization” The Astronomical Journal. Dec. 2009. Vol 139, pp 1557-1562.

Honors and Awards 

  • Keck Institute for Space Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship
  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Professional Memberships 

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • American Astronautical Society (AAS)
  • American Physical Society (APS)

Related News 

Students Shine at AIAA Region 1 Student Conference

Twelve students won awards for their papers, and seven were from UMD. April 26, 2018

Four Aerospace Students Receive Society of Satellite Professionals International Scholarships

Frizzell, Kaptui Sipowa, McCullum and Shannon receive awards to support research efforts. April 6, 2017

Three UMD Students Take Top Honors at SSPI Engineering Student Competition

Three aerospace engineering students excel at 2016 SSPI Engineering Student Competition in Space Systems. June 14, 2016

Two UMD Faculty Receive NASA Early Stage Innovations Awards

Aerospace Engineering professors Hartzell and Sedwick receive NASA awards to foster high priority space technology. December 23, 2015

Carter and DeCicco Receive NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships

Graduate students Dylan Carter and Anthony DeCicco awarded NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships. May 28, 2015

Hartzell Receives Astronomical Honor

Main belt asteroid named after Aerospace Engineering's Assistant Professor Christine Hartzell. January 16, 2015

Aerospace Welcomes New Faculty

Dr. Christine Hartzell has joined the department as an assistant professor. March 6, 2014