Carter and DeCicco Receive NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships

Aerospace Engineering graduate students Dylan Carter and Anthony DeCicco have been awarded NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships for the 2015-2016 year. NSTRF Fellowships sponsor U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nation’s science, exploration and economic future. 

Dylan CarterCarter is currently a Ph.D. candidate working with Assistant Professor Christine Hartzell, and is studying the behaviors of triboelectric charging within granular systems in order to develop new methods for electrostatic beneficiation of lunar and Martian regolith in partial- and micro-gravity environments.

He received both his B.S. (2013) and his M.S. (2015) from the University of Maryland. Carter's master's project in modeling of tribocharging in granular media will form the foundation of the work he will do on regolith beneficiation under the NSTRF award.


Anthony DeCiccoDeCicco is also pursuing his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Hartzell. With his recent acceptance of the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, DeCicco will be researching a method to despin asteroids for planetary defense and the control of asteroids for future resource acquisition.

DeCicco received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. The summer before attending the University of Maryland, he worked at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center to develop the next generation of impact resistant composite fuel tanks, which could reduce the empty weight of fuel tanks by as much as 40% enabling larger payloads to orbit.

He is a fervent supporter of the space program and can often be seen sporting a NASA meatball pin. He hopes to work there after graduation to develop the next generation of mission enabling technologies for deep space exploration and maybe one day make the venture into space himself.

Through this program, NSTRF graduate researchers have the opportunity to work collaboratively with leading engineers and scientists in the students’ chosen area of study; they can take advantage of broader and/or deeper space technology research opportunities directly related to their educational and career objectives, acquire a more detailed understanding of the potential end applications of their space technology efforts, directly disseminate their research results within the NASA/nonprofit U.S. R&D lab community, and enhance their understanding of the research process.

Published May 28, 2015