Doctoral student contributes to NASA research

Mar 19, 2024 | Engineering and Science, Research, Students

Louisiana Tech University doctoral student Mohammad Jabed Perves Bappy’s research may help NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) create habitable environments on the moon and Mars.

Bappy, a member of Dr. David Mills’ research lab and doctoral candidate in Tech’s interdisciplinary micro and nanoscale systems engineering program, has helped develop cost-effective antibacterial nano agents for a filtration system capable of integration with widely used high-grade industrial plastics during his time at Louisiana Tech.

This project, funded by NASA EPSCOR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Rapid Response Research Program, will cut down on very small, possibly dangerous, disease-carrying microorganisms. This could include pathogens, microbes, or any other biological DNA or matter.

Protecting the integrity of the spacesuit from these pathogens is very important for space travel. Due to the long flight and change in environment, astronauts’ immune systems can become easily compromised, especially in an enclosed space such as a space shuttle, meaning that capturing possibly dangerous material in the vent of the suits and shuttle is critical.

Using his skills in nanotechnology, Bappy has created a filter out of a permeable, easy-to-absorb material. By doing so on an incredibly small scale and using the special material, he has created a ventilation system that causes the harmful material to be easily trapped in the vent due to it being functionally more absorbent. This system properly filters the air, protecting the life of the astronauts.

When asked for his thoughts on Bappy, Mills stated, “I have had few students like Jabed. He is a self-starter, highly motivated, and a gifted and creative student. I wish I had more graduate students like him.”

“I embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and innovation to dynamically respond to evolving circumstances,” Bappy added when asked about his research philosophy.

Along those lines, he hopes to expand this technology into the commercial setting, bringing the clean air of a sterilized spaceship into the standard office space. Through hard work and ingenuity, Bappy is heading toward improving not only humanity’s mission to the stars but also life on Earth, all as a student at Louisiana Tech University.

Written by communications student Daniel Young.