Students Present Textile Designs to NASA

Students in the School of Architecture + Design were members of interdisciplinary teams that were invited to participate, along with students from Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota, in the Wearable Technology Symposium hosted by NASA at its Johnson Space Center. Sarah Duffau and Rebecca Meyer, both first-year architecture majors, presented their project on reconfigurable and adaptable intra-vehicular clothing for long term space missions. Kate O’Connor, a fifth year architecture major, Ashleigh Otto, a first year student majoring in industrial design, and John Murphy, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering in the College of Engineering, collaborated on a design for a hands-free jetpack control boot. Chris Drudick, a fifth year architecture major, Mahmood Alwash, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, and Mark Koninckx, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, presented their real-time visualization of the shape of inflatable structures during deployment, based on NASA’s work to develop inflatable structures for use in space.

The three teams were led by Paola Zellner, an assistant professor in the School of Architecture + Design, who teaches the Textile Space course, and Tom Martin, an associate professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering whose research focuses on e-textiles and wearable computing. Martin also has a courtesy appointment in the School of Architecture + Design. Virginia Tech’s participation was supported by Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

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