Two Presbyterian College students, Will Grismore and Brandon Morrow have received NASA South Carolina Space Grant Consortium Research Awards. The awards were granted through NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research or EPSCoR.
Both Grismore and Morrow’s projects will be conducted in the college’s Non-Linear Materials Lab. In it, the students will be studying granular materials or collections of macroscopic particles such as sand, grains, sugar, and dirt. Each student’s research will involve studying how sound travels through granular materials.
Dr. Eli Owens, assistant professor of physics will be overseeing the students’ research.
“I have been studying granular materials since graduate school, and the work Will and Brandon will be doing is an extension of work other PC students and myself have been conducting over the past several years,” Owens said.
Grismore’s research focuses on passing sound waves through granular objects such as sand in order to detect the shapes of buried objects.
“The experimental goal of my research is to detect buried objects and interfaces in a granular material,” Grismore said. “This research has potential applications in a variety of fields, from detecting landmines to searching for valuable oils and minerals.”
Morrow’s research is focused on the non-destructive probing of granular materials. Morrow explained that sound waves quickly dissipate when traveling through granular materials.
“In order to prevent sound from dissipating, we seek to find the right size and shape of a coupling device in order to impedance match with the granular material,” Morrow said. “This is analogous to how cupping one’s hands over one’s mouth in a cone shape allows an individual to speak louder than before. This is because the cone matches the impedance of one’s voice to the air.”
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.