KECK INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES

       

Zachary Ahmad

Zachary Ahmad

Grad student in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Hometown: Hattiesburg, MI

Date of this Interview: December 19, 2023


What do you research?

I am working to develop new methods of additive manufacturing for high temperature materials for space exploration. To achieve more intricate electromagnetic studies of celestial objects (such as the metallic asteroid, Psyche), materials must be optimized which are non-magnetic and can survive extreme temperatures and corrosive environments. In addition to optimizing a manufacturing process that combines novel materials with unique bonding techniques, I am developing the kinetic models for structural control processes that design ordered, reproducible, and dimensionally uniform porous structures for spacecraft assimilation.

Why does space inspire you?

Space, to me, represents the antithesis of finality. While humans discover things every day that help to explain our existence here on Earth, the frontiers of space offer an endless pursuit of the mysteries of existence. I find it comforting that there will always be something new for humans to learn about space.

If you could instantly travel to any point in the universe, where would you choose to go?

I'd love to get a close-up look at the birth of stars in Westerhout 40!

Where can you be found when you’re not conducting research?

During the day - having a coffee with my friend, Sandra, in her office. During the night - at a friend's house watching chaos ensue as they try to resolve Magic: The Gathering mechanisms.

What book do you wish you could read for the first time again?

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir


Picture of Zachary with a bit of ceramic.

Zachary observing a piece of ceramic material