Space Florida and the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium Announce 15 Florida Space Research Program Winners

For Immediate Release
Contacts: Tina Lange,  APR                                                                              Jaydeep Mukherjee, Ph.D.
Space Florida                                                                                                          Florida Space Grant Consortium
321-223-1013                                                                                                        407-823-6177                                                                      

EXPLORATION PARK, FL (September 3, 2014) – Space Florida, the state’s spaceport
authority and aerospace development organization, and the NASA Florida Space Grant
Consortium (FSGC) announced this week the 2014-2015 winners of the Florida Space
Research Program (FSRP), an initiative developed in 2007 to increase statewide academic
involvement in space research, engineering, education and training programs that are
consistent with the state’s space industry priorities
Fifteen projects were awarded through the following 10 universities:
• Bethune-Cookman University (Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Hyun Cho)
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (PI’s Dr. Tianyu Yang, Dr. Antoly Streltsov)
• Florida Gulf Coast University (Dr. Zanna Beharry)
• Florida Institute of Technology (Dr. Brian Kaplinger, Dr. Dan Kirk, Dr. Hamid
• Florida International University (Dr. Zhe Cheng)
• Florida State University (Michelle Personette)
• University of Central Florida (Dr. Donald Malocha, Dr. Seetha Raghavan)
• University of Florida (Dr. John Conklin, Dr. Jian Ge)
• University of North Florida (Dr. Thomas Pekarek)
• University of South Florida (Dr. Frank Muller-Karger)
To learn more about each project, visit
2014/. For the 2014-2015 award period, Space Florida and the FSGC invested a total of
$295,855 and leveraged an additional $320,709 in matching funds from winning universities.

Research was funded in three areas:
1. Space Exploration and Spaceport Technology Development
2. Space-Based Research and Payload Development
3. Space Education and Training Programs
Funding received by winners is intended to support research that will: a) compete for larger
sponsored research awards; b) attract and leverage other federal or industry funding; c)
produce technologies that lead to commercial opportunities; d) promote Florida leadership in
emerging aerospace technologies; e) address workforce development issues and/or f) in
other ways enhance the technological competitiveness of Florida universities and the space

“Florida universities hold a plethora of talent and the innovative projects we’ve been able to
support through this program are making a real difference in boosting Florida’s innovation
economy,” said Space Florida CEO Frank DiBello. “The 10 universities represented in this
award period reflect some of the best in the nation when it comes to high-tech R&D and we
look forward to seeing the results of their projects.”

“This program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in Florida
universities to be actively involved in cutting edge space technology research and thus
making available a pool of talented future employees in Florida to space companies,” added
FSGC Director Jaydeep Mukherjee, Ph.D.

The FSRP is a Space Florida-FSGC matching grant program – started in 2007 – that
combines state, federal, and other funds for competitive award to projects sponsored with the
State’s public and private academic institutions. To date, 134 projects have been funded
through the program.
To learn more about the Florida Space Research Program, visit
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About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader
in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s spaceport authority and
aerospace development organization, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next
generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and
unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive –
and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed.
About Florida Space Grant Consortium: Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) is a NASA
sponsored program led by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and administered by the Florida
Space Institute at UCF. It is a voluntary association of seventeen public and private Florida
Universities and colleges. The Consortium also includes the Astronaut Memorial Foundation, Space
Florida, Kennedy Space Center, and Orlando Science Center. FSGC supports the expansion and
diversification of Florida’s space industry, through providing grants, scholarships, and fellowships to
students and educators from Florida’s public and private institutes of higher education

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