When astronauts are able to construct research bases on the moon that can withstand its harsh environment, they may have Brandon Aguiar to thank. The Miami native is using 3D printing and a lunar simulation supplied by NASA to create strong, complex structures.
Brandon came to FIU as an undergraduate in the fall of 2021, but it was a bumpy road that brought him to the university. An entrepreneur at heart, he spent a semester at another university in Florida before he realized that the program didn’t meet his needs. At FIU, however, he found that he could combine his love for space exploration and his passion for business in the mechanical engineering program. Brandon says it was easily the best decision of his life.
Although he did not know much about research, he found an opportunity as an undergraduate to use his background in high-resolution, high-speed cameras to develop unique imaging techniques to capture adhesion behavior of nanofibers. During his master’s program, Brandon collaborated with NASA to print 3D lunar matter. His lab work and his mentors prepared him perfectly for a summer internship with NASA at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Brandon has received numerous honors, including winning the FIU and College of Engineering and Computing’s 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. His research has been published in scientific journals and he has filed for a patent for his manufacturing method for lunar soil. He also founded the Society of Manufacturing Engineers at FIU and enjoys working in teams and mentoring other students.
While his dream is to one day go into space, or to work for SpaceX, Brandon is remaining at FIU to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering and continue his vital research.
Written by David Druck
Marketing and Communications
College of Engineering & Computing