Posted on April 29, 2022 by Rory Dew

APRIL 29, 2022 – Joseph G. Hernandez-McCloskey , a Ph.D. student in UTSA’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, was recently announced as a recipient of a 2022 NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunity (NSTGRO) Award. Hernandez-McCloskey, who conducts research in UTSA’s UTSA Laser Spectroscopy and Chemical Propulsion Laboratory–supervised by assistant professor Daniel I. Pineda –was one of approximately 60 NSTGRO Awardees.

NSTGRO Awards are made in the form of grants to accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees, with the student’s faculty advisor serving as the principal investigator. The award, valued at up to $80,000 annually, will allow Hernandez-McCloskey and Pineda to work on the generative design of thermal management strategies for in-space detonation propulsion, leveraging UTSA’s new metal 3D printing capabilities and Pineda’s laser diagnostic expertise to increase the technology readiness level of next-generation detonation-based rocket engines.

Prior to joining UTSA, Hernandez-McCloskey was a Combustion Devices Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Edwards, CA and a Propulsion Systems Development Intern at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, CA. A San Antonio native, Hernandez-McCloskey is the first student in UTSA’s history to receive either the NSTGRO grant or its predecessor award, the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to Joseph G. Hernandez-McCloskey for this tremendous achievement.

— Rory Dew