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Dr. Christine Hartzell joined the department as an assistant professor in January 2014. Hartzell comes to the department after being a postdoctoral fellow with the Keck Institute for Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology where she studied granular media, materials made of small grains, like sand. Hartzell wants to apply this research to studying how spacecraft wheels and scoops might interact with the different materials—such as sand and dust—on planets' surfaces where gravity is weaker than earth.

She received her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2012 where her thesis focused on electrostatic dust motion near the surface of asteroids and the Moon. Hartzell received her B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008.

Hartzell's research interests are in the areas of planetary science, orbital mechanics, plasma physics, granular mechanics and spacecraft design. Her current research focuses on dust motion on airless bodies­—such as some moons, asteroids and comets—for the purpose of understanding how these bodies evolve and applying that knowledge to improving the design of spacecraft to explore them.

For moe information on Hartzell and her research, visit her faculty webpage.



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March 6, 2014


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