Michigan Tech’s Dept of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics under the direction of Dr. L. Brad King, is a leadership partner with the University of Michigan in the establishment of a United States Air Force (USAF) Michigan/AFRL Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion (MECEEP).
The MACEEP is the first USAF Center of Excellence dedicated to advanced spacecraft propulsion. The MACEEP will focus on four thrust areas: Advanced Plasma Propulsion Systems for large spacecraft; Advanced Electrospray Propulsion Systems for microsats, nanosats, and picosats; Modeling and Simulation to support the advanced propulsion thrust areas; and Spacecraft Power Electronics for plasma and electrospray propulsion power processing. In addition to University of Michigan, the lead institution, and Michigan Tech, the MACEEP includes the University of California at Los Angeles, Pennsylvania State University, and Colorado State University. A $5M grant and nearly $1M of cost-sharing contributed by MACEEP partner institutions over the five-year award period, bringing the entire effort to ~$6M. Michigan Tech’s portion is $1.04 M and this is the ME-EM Department’s first involvement in a leadership role in the establishment of a national center. Professor Alec Gallimore (AERO and MIPSE Faculty) is MACEEP’s director, and Professors Iain Boyd (AERO) and Brian Gilchrist (EECS/AOSS) are MACEEP investigators and also MIPSE members.