Advanced Light Source Acknowledges Heat Shield Research by BPC Alum

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Sam Schickler (BPC class of 2015), now a freshman at UC San Diego, recently won third place at the Advanced Light Source User Meeting Poster Slam.

Under the mentorship of scientists Dula Parkinson and Francisco Panerai, Sam worked as a research assistant at NASA Ames and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs this past summer studying spacecraft heat shields. His work involved studying 3D microtomography data scanned at the Swiss Light Source. Sam trained a machine learning neural network to more efficiently process this data so that he and other scientists could analyze how the fibers degraded over time under a range of conditions of pressure and temperature. This is important research, as the heat shield is a key part of a spacecraft’s thermal protection system and is essential for its safe re-entry into the atmosphere.