Zac Manchester Engineer, Rocket Scientist, Spacecraft Hacker

Article in Science

A paper that I worked on with my friends Jeff Lipton and Rob MacCurdy was published in Science! This one was definitely outside of my usual area of expertise, but was a lot of fun to work on. Basically, Jeff and Rob (working with a few other people at MIT) figured out how to put together materials that can expand, contract, and lock into place, similar to how keratin and collagen work in biological systems. I helped by working out the math to describe the motion and locking behavior using a little group theory. In the future, these materials could be used for all kinds of engineering applications, including medical devices, robotic actuators, and deployable structures for spacecraft.