Summer Fellow, Ellen D’Amico studies granular flow

Summer Fellow, Ellen D’Amico studies granular flow


Presbyterian College student Ellen D’Amico, a junior dual degree physics and engineering major from Bluffton, S.C., spent the summer performing experiments to study the effects of grain shape on confined granular flows.

“Granular materials are collections of macroscopic particles, such as corn, rice, and peas,” D’Amico said. “Grain silos store granular particles and are subjected to irregular force build-up, which can have catastrophic results.”

She explained that pressure at the bottom of a silo is screened as the silo fills. As a result, D’Amico, under the guidance of Dr. Eli Owens, assistant professor of physics, studied the force build-up on the side-walls of grain silos from corn, peas, and rice.

D’Amico is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society; is on the executive board for Up ’til Dawn, and is an avid member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The South Carolina Space Grant Consortium was formed in 1991, designated as a “Capability Enhancement” state. Under the NASA Mandate for “Capability Enhancement” states, the SCSGC works to increase the state’s aerospace-related research infrastructure. The SCSGC members devise programs to encourage research and students to conduct aerospace-related research and to address the science education pipeline problem.

The SCSGC was originally composed of four institutions of higher learning, and in 1996, the consortium grew to 10 member institutions, nine in South Carolina and one in the Virgin Islands. In 2010 Presbyterian College joined the consortium. Now with 15 members, these institutions provide a balanced program of education, research, public service, and include both women and minority student populations. These member institutions provide a NASA contact at nearly all four-year colleges and the three research universities in South Carolina and the US Virgin Islands.



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 is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit