Dr. Christopher Jenkins

Dr. Christopher Jenkins is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department at Montana State University. Dr. Jenkins has a B.S. in physics from Florida Institute of Technology, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University. He has published over 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, authored or edited 5 books (including a textbook), is a registered engineer in 4 states, and is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. While at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, he established the Compliant Structures Laboratory, a nationally recognized leader in ultra-lightweight and flexible structures technology. His current professional interests include biologically-inspired design, integration of mechanics materials-design, and ultra-lightweight structures technology. Dr. Jenkins consults for the Air Force Research Lab, NASA, and several industrial partners. Current and recent past research projects include: •“Nanofiber Nano composites for Novel Space Mirror Backing Structure,” AFR •“Intelligent Passive Damping of Membrane Space Structures,” AFRL •“Self-Repair of Space Structures,” AFR •“Matched and Ultra-Low CTE Optical Materials ,” MDA •“Mirror Backing Structures: Novel Resins for Aerospace Applications,” AFRL •“Advanced Smart Structures, AFRL •“Nano-Gradient Adhesive Joints,” AFRL •“Optical Diagnostics Systems for Solar Sails,” NASA •“Advanced Computational Methods for Solar Sails,” NASA.

Broadcast 635 (Special Edition)

Dr. Christopher Jenkins was the guest for this Space Show program. We began the discussion with a good working definition and short history of Gossamer Spacecraft, their history, their future, and their importance. Dr. Jenkins took us through many uses, potential applications and engineering barriers that still must be overcome. We talked about solar sails, the material being used and futuristic materials being developed.

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