The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: Rapid Solidification of Steel on the International Space Station


Friday, September 15, 2017 - 12:00pm


Douglas M. Matson, Associate Professor, Tufts University


Gunness Student Center, Marcus Hall


The transformation from ferrite to austenite in steel casting alloys is influenced by the amount of stirring that occurs during solidification.  The Materials Science Laboratory ElectroMagnetic Levitator (MSL-EML) is used to perform space experiments on the International Space Station and allows investigation over a wide range of convection conditions spanning the laminar-turbulent transition.  This presentation describes how experiments are designed and controlled on-orbit, summarizes the key findings to date and discusses planning for future materials science experiments in space.

Douglas Matson is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Tufts University and an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.  He received his BS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and Mechanical Engineering from California State University - Sacramento, his MS in Materials Science from UC-Davis, and his Ph.D. degree in Materials Engineering from MIT.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in Chemical Engineering in California.  He is the editor of a book on rapid solidification and is author or co-author of more than 35 scientific papers in refereed journals and 50 scientific and technical proceedings papers. He has co-organized 13 symposiums relating to space physical science, thermophysical property measurement and solidification phenomena.  Professor Matson was an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch NZ and visiting scientist at both the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville AL USA and the German Space Agency (DLR) in Köln Germany.  He has numerous reduced-gravity space science opportunities including parabolic aircraft missions on the KC-135 vomit comet in Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas and the Novespace A300 Zero-G in Bordeaux-Mérignac France, drop tube experiments at Vanderbilt and at NASA, the TEXUS-49 DLR sounding rocket experiment from ESRANGE Space Center outside Kiruna Sweden, and three space experiments as TEMPUS lead scientist on the NASA shuttle Columbia.  He has two ongoing space collaborations on the ISS; a thermophysical property measurement program using the JAXA Electrostatic Levitator ELF and the ESA electromagnetic levitator MSL-EML collaboration for which he serves as Speaker of the International Working Group and NASA Facility Scientist.