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CEE Doctoral Student Bridges Space Exploration with Civil Engineering

Dr. Achilles Tsakiris and PhD student Christian Mooneyham stand beside the test column.

CEE doctoral student Christian Mooneyham won the prestigious NASA Space Grant Institute scholarship to study crater formation on Mars. How does civil engineering fit into the space research? Christian will be using his knowledge from methane expulsion in lake sediments and reservoirs to scale-up what is happening on Earth back to the planet Mars. His military background and math skills allow him to do this scaling while using experimental evidence and sensors in his model at HSL. Christian got his BS at Westpoint and MS at Virginia Tech. He joined UTK and the Tickle College of Engineering in January 2017.

“Christian is meticulous and curious enough to succeed in his research endeavors,” said CEE Professor Thanos Papanicolaou. “He is excited to explain life on Mars using knowledge gained on planet Earth.”

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