Mechanical engineering's Staack receives prestigious CAREER Award

Photo of Dr. David StaackDr. David Staack, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF established the CAREER program to support junior faculty within the context of their overall career development, combining in a single program the support of research and education of the highest quality in the broadest sense. Through the program, the NSF emphasizes the importance of the early development of academic careers dedicated to stimulating the discovery process in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and enthusiastic learning.

Staack received his CAREER award for his project “Micro- and Nano-Scale Plasma Discharges in High Density Fluids.”

His project aims to push the current boundaries of plasma physics and engineering applications to create and control the smallest plasma discharges. The goal of the project is to measure the properties of these plasma discharges and to use them as tools for the highly localized diagnostics and modification of matter.

The results of Staack’s project will be tied into a new course at Texas A&M on Plasma Engineering and Applications, and disseminated to students, the general public, and research peers.

Staack received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. from Drexel University.

He joined the faculty at A&M in 2009 and is the author or co-author of more than 20 peer-reviewed journal publications. His research interests include: non-equilibrium plasmas; micro- and nanoscale plasmas; electric propulsion for spacecraft; plasma enhanced materials processing and synthesis; plasma enhanced fuel conversion and combustion; biological and medical plasma applications; and laser and spectroscopic diagnostics.