Nicholas Tjahjono, a first-year doctoral student in materials science and nanoengineering (MSNE) at Rice, has been awarded the NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities Fellowship.
His research proposal, “Virtual Prototyping of Multifunctional Boron-Nitrogen Nanostructures and their Composites for Extreme Space Environments,” aims to aid in NASA’s Artemis mission to the moon and beyond.
The goal of Artemis is to land two astronauts on the moon by 2024 and explore the feasibility of establishing sustainable colonies, in preparation for sending the first astronauts to Mars by 2030. Tjahjono’s objective is to develop materials capable of operating under, and protecting astronauts from, extreme space environments such as extreme heat and cold, variable gravity, abrasive lunar dust, galactic cosmic radiation and solar particle events.
Tjahjono works in the research lab of Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of MSNE.
Tjahjono earned his B.S. in the joint major of bioengineering and materials science and engineering, and his B.A. in music, from the University of California at Berkeley in 2018. Before coming to Rice, he worked as a research assistant in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Molecular Foundry in Berkeley, Calif.