For decades, humans have been leaving this Earth to explore what’s beyond. Technologies we’ve developed are letting us go places, like the moon, Mars, and even interstellar space. However, our curiosity, and maybe opportunities, stretch far beyond our current reach, and potentially imagination. Nicolas sensed this, and in order to get out of the current thinkspace, he had to step away from his profession, to re-enter it with a completely different understanding and set of rules. Nano is a term we all hear, but not often when it comes to going to distant galaxies.
In 2014, Nicolas and his team from the University of Miami flew with NASA to test the use of nanoparticles in composite materials as part of the NASA Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program. In his time interning and working across three different NASA centers, including Kennedy, Goddard, and Marshall Space Flight Centers, Nicolas has had the opportunity to survey the state of the art in aerospace engineering and is excited to discuss the connection between the vast distances of space and the tiniest fabricated objects known to man.
Nicolas Augustus Rongione is currently a PhD student at UCLA in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow working on novel thermoelectric materials. He is also a member of the AIAA Aerospace Power Systems, as well as a volunteer at the California Nano Systems Institute.