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From the Makerspace to Outer Space

For her senior engineering design project, Greta Studier '19 worked with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) on a conceptual design for a storage unit that will hold sample tubes on a future Mars Sample Return mission,  marking the first time humans will have brought back samples from another planet.

Studier, who was a co-recipient of the College's McCabe Engineering Award and is working at JPL post-graduation, used two 3D printed test stands created in the College's Makerspace for the storage unit. The goal of the mission is to analyze Martian rock for evidence of past life.

"I've always been interested in space and the unknown, in parallel with my engineering interests," says Studier. "Knowing what you want to do and then executing it is a big jump. Coming into Swarthmore, I didn't know what type of engineering I wanted to do, and taking a bunch of different courses at Swarthmore really exposed me to mechanical engineering and design. Those courses that I took here really got me hooked."

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