R&D Mechanical Engineer (Ph.D. or Masters)

CompensationUp-to Full Support
Commitment40 hrs/w
Start DateSummer 2022


This position may have additional semesters if the allocation of further funding is available. Most positions involve 40 hrs/week during the summer and 10-20 hrs/week when classes occur. The guaranteed semesters for this position are:

  • Summer 2022
  • Fall 2022
  • Spring 2023
  • Summer 2023
  • Fall 2023
  • Spring 2024


For this project under leadership of the Colorado School of Mines, we at MTU are developing an attachment for a rover to be built by Lunar Outpost that will compact layers of lunar sand and dust using vibratory needles. This will result in a site preparation for a lunar landing pad construction where the underlaying sand and dust needs to by compacted to 90% relative density over a large area within a given time.


  • Design, build, and test vibratory compaction device for a moon rover.
  • Work independently and communicate results with lab and stakeholders.
  • Analyze vibration data to determine optimal compactor configuration.
  • Test compaction device in lunar regolith simulant (atmospheric, vacuum).


Recommended Majors

  • Mechanical Engineering


  • You must be a U.S. person.
  • Commit to a 2-year NASA research grant.
  • 3D Printing Experience
  • Machine Shop Experience (including CNC Mill and lathe)
  • Data Analysis Experience
  • Data Collection Experience
  • CAD Experience
  • Independent worker.


  • Experience in collection of vibratory data.
  • Experience in producing reports on collected data.
  • Experience in effectively communicating results.


NASA LuSTR 2021More information coming soon.