Aerospace Engineering graduate student Pratik Saripalli was recently highlighted by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP) as one of 11 NASA scholars who attended the SREB-DSP annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. This event is one of the largest gathering of minority Ph.D.'s in the country and offers attendees professional development and recruitment opportunities.
Saripalli attended as a recipient of a NASA Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. The program provides financial support to full-time, under represented graduate students in science, technology and education, to continue their education in NASA-related disciplines. In addition, the fellowships include an annual 10-week, hands-on research experience at a NASA center.
According to the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program NASA Partnership brochure, Saripalli is helping NASA not only to see the stars, but to “go green” while doing it. His focus is on developing nitrous oxide as a green mono-propellant, which can guide NASA to more sustainable propellants. His research is designed to understand the kinetics of nitrous oxide decomposition and to figure out if any stable states of nitrous oxide exist. The goal is to isolate these states and possibly use them to create a more energy efficient path.
Saripalli performs research at Maryland's Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory while his work at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center helps to establish measures that improve the safety and longevity of the equipment NASA uses for space missions.
The Doctoral Scholars Program partners with NASA to further diversifying the STEM workforce.
July 6, 2016