Timeline

2018

UCLA Mojave Test Facility Construction - December
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Construction of a new propulsion test facility for UCLA begins in Mojave, CA. The facility will provide unique rocket test and launch infrastructure for research and educational activities. The facility will be directed by Dr. Spearrin.

Two Students Win National Fellowships - May
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Kevin Schwarm - National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship:
Multi-Physics Analysis of Reacting Sprays Relevant to Rocket Propulsion and Power Generation

Christopher Jelloian - NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship:
Non-Equilibrium Heat Transfer During Mars Entry Using Advanced Laser Diagnostics

Dr. Spearrin receives AFOSR YIP Award - October
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Dr. Spearrin named a 2019 recipient of the prestigious Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program (AFOSR YIP) Award for development and application of a novel laser-based imaging method for the study of reacting fluid dynamics relevant to advanced propulsion.

First Liquid Bipropellant Rocket Launches from UCLA - March
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The UCLA Rocket Project launches a liquid bi-propellant rocket (LOx-ethanol) to 12,000+ ft in preparation for the FAR-Mars competition. The UCLA Rocket Project is advised by Dr. Spearrin.

2017

Dr. Spearrin Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award - December
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This five year grant will support his research using spectroscopy to understand the chemistry and physics of combustion at high pressures. Knowledge learned from the studies will be applied to the next-generation of ultra-efficient engines. The award will also support project-based educational activities led by Dr. Spearrin.

New Spectroscopy and Molecular Gas Dynamics Course - September
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Dr. Spearrin's new MAE 259A Spectroscopy and Molecular Gas Dynamics course launches. The course is designed to teach graduate students in engineering the fundamentals of light-matter interactions and gas dynamics at the molecular scale.

New Design-Build-Launch Capstone Course - July
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Dr. Spearrin's new design-build-launch curriculum for the MAE 157A aerospace capstone class gets featured in an article by UCLA Engineering News. The team-based course taken by seniors in aerospace engineering involved the design, analysis, manufacturing, and testing of mid-power rockets and culminated in a launch competition in the Mojave desert.

Rocket Launch Event with RRS - May
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The Spearrin Lab joined members from the Reaction Research Society (RRS) in a launch demonstration of several zinc-sulfur rockets out in Mojave, CA. The Reaction Research Society is the oldest continuously operating amateur experimental rocket group in the United States.

Collaboration with USC - November
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Our lab begins a new collaboration with the University of Southern California's Combustion and Fuels Laboratory to study turbulent premixed jet flames using advanced laser diagnostics.

Collaboration with the Air Force Research Laboratory (Edwards, CA) - August
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Graduate researchers Daniel Lee and Fabio Bendana spent part of their summer working on a liquid rocket engine test rig at AFRL in Edwards, CA. Together they developed new laser diagnostic techniques to measure species and temperature at the extreme temperatures and pressures of an LRE combustion chamber.

Official Launch of the @SpearrinLab Twitter Page - June
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The official twitter account for the Laser Spectroscopy and Gas Dynamics Laboratory is now live! Follow us @SpearrinLab to see what we're up to!

2016

First Graduate Students Join the Lab! - June
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Graduate students Fabio Bendana, Daniel Lee, and Chuyu Wei (left to right) join the Spearrin Lab!

Dr. Spearrin Establishes Laboratory at UCLA - January
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Professor Spearrin joins UCLA and establishes the Laser Spectroscopy and Gas Dynamics Laboratory. The lab is located in the state-of-the-art Engineering VI building that recently finished construction.

2015

Textbook Publication - December
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Dr. Spearrin co-authors a new textbook on applied spectroscopy, published by Springer. The text provides an introduction to the science that governs the interaction of light and matter (in the gas phase) for the purpose of providing engineers, scientists, and aspiring students the basic knowledge to (1) exploit the light-matter interaction to develop quantitative tools for gas analysis (i.e. optical diagnostics) and (2) to understand and interpret the results of spectroscopic measurements.

SpectraPlot.com launched - January
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Dr. Spearrin and colleagues at Lumina Labs, Inc. launch an integrated online simulation tool for spectroscopic data. The tool offers convenient access and visualization of disparate spectral data resources, and is open to public use.

'Rocket Men' article in Stanford Medicine Magazine - October
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Stanford Medicine magazine features an article on the extension of laser absorption spectrosopy for breath diagnostics, highlighting an emerging area of cross-disciplinary research and profiling Dr. Spearrin and his colleagues who have driven recent progress in the field with an aim toward addressing pediatric emergency conditions.

Outstanding Paper Award - June
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The journal of Measurement Science and Technology recognizes Dr. Spearrin and co-authors with an outstanding paper award for their work developing a new thermometry technique for high enthalpy, supercritical air.