Bridging Industry Best Practices in Project Management and Safety Assurance to Academic Propulsion Research

downtownbeeMechanics

Nov 18, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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Bridging Industry Best Practices in Project Management and
Safety Assurance to Academic Propulsion Research

Ahsan Choudhuri, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Director, NASA URC: Center for Space Exploration Technology Research

University of Texas at El Paso


In increasingly knowledge
-
based economies, universities are required to play a
significant role in national systems of innovation.



The evolving triple
-
helix research model is continuously reshaping the institutional
relationships between university, industry, and government.



The rapidly changing technological paradigm, globalization, and transformation of
R&D workforce require universities to provide research experiences that are
enhanced with industry practices.



Student as a bridge between two distinct world with different research cultures and
values systems.


Universities focus on science and are structured to quest for knowledge and understanding


Industries thrive on finding practical technology solutions within the perimeter of cost effectiveness.


The research training in academic settings seems to underemphasize two important
industry best practices:


project management



safety



There is a need for an adaptive and abridged management system that facilitates
project execution, safety and quality assurance, while providing educational training
for participants.



Given the nature of academic research, the system has to make allowances and
adjustments in comparison to a more commercial or industrial environment.



Innovations in IT are enablers for such systems.


NASA University Research Center

University of Texas at El Paso

Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR)

Vision


The

c
SETR

vision

is

to

establish

a

minority

university

Center

of

Excellence

in

Advanced

Propulsion

and

Energy

research

through

strategic

partnerships

and

to

educate

a

diverse

future

aerospace

and

energy

workforce
.



Goals


Advance research in aerospace and energy engineering


Inspire, excite, and engage undergraduate and graduate students, especially those
from underrepresented groups, in the study of aerospace and energy engineering


Build a sustainable research capacity and infrastructure at UTEP in aerospace and
energy engineering.


NASA University Research Center

University of Texas at El Paso

Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR)


10 Faculty


4 Administrative Staff Members


1 Associate Director and Research
Manager


1 Program Coordinator


1 Finance Manager


1 Administrative Assistant


3 Staff Engineers


64 Student Researchers


36 Student Researchers


NASA


NASA University Research Center

University of Texas at El Paso

Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR)


Space Systems


Propulsion


Non
-
Toxic Propulsion


Miniature Propulsion Systems


Missile Interceptors


Structures and Materials


High Temperature Materials and Coatings


High Strain Rate Failure



Energy Engineering


Advanced Turbine Technologies


High Hydrogen Fuel Combustion


High Temperature Materials and Coatings


Carbon Capture and Sequestration


Oxy
-
Fuel Combustion

45%
21%
20%
9%
5%
Current Year Funding Distributions
NASA
DOE
DOD
DoEd
Industry Task Order

Project management process


Safety and quality assurance programs


Data management system



Each project under the Center has
a project management plan that
includes at minimum:


Gantt schedule


Objectives


Requirements


Reference to Center
Safety Plan or Custom
Safety Plan


Reference to Center
Data Mgmt. Plan


Components of plans shared and
confirmed by each customer


Each plan is updated throughout
the project duration and customer
apprised of updates

Processes and systems

Project Flow

PROJECT
CODE
A. LOX/Hydrocarbon Ignition Physics
A
-
LHI
B. Test Spark & Thermal Ign. LOX/HC Propellants
B
-
TST
C. Study of Propellant Thermo
-
fluid Properties
C
-
SPT
D. Propellant Cooling, Thermo
-
Mech. Analysis, & Component Life
D
-
PCT
E. Thermal barrier coatings (TBC) for High Heat Flux Thrust Chamber
E
-
TBC
F. Investigation of a Swirl Coaxial Injector
F
-
SCI
G. Conduct Hot
-
Firing Combustor Tests
G
-
HFT
H. Chemical Approaches for Resource Discovery & Characterization
(D&C)
H
-
CAR
I. Geophysical Approaches for Resource Discovery & Characterization
(D&C)
I
-
GRD
J. Remote Sensing for Resource Discovery & Characterization
J
-
RSR
K. Analog Field Sites Testing with Regolith Simulants
K
-
AFT
L. Production of Oxygen from Lunar
Regolith
L
-
PLR
M. Production of Structural Materials from Lunar
Regolith
M
-
PSM
N.
Thermochemical
Extraction from Lunar & Martian
Regolith
N
-
TEL
P. Study Bioleaching &
Biosequestration
from Lunar & Martian
Regolith
P
-
SBB
W. cSETR Electronic Data System & Data Mgmt. Policies
W
-
CDS
X. cSETR Safety Plan
X
-
SFT
Y. cSETR PM Plan
Y
-
PMP
Z. cSETR Renovation
Z
-
REN
AA. FAST Center
AA
-
FS

cSETR has and maintains a documented Center
-
wide safety policy


Policy is always available to all participants online


Policy has also been shared and stands in compliment with UTEP EH&S


There are standard safety checklists for each initiative


Setups and experimentation require prior safety review and approval to proceed

Project Flow Diagram with Safety Considerations in Light Orange

Hazard Analysis


Reliable, central storage point of all data


Center maintained and centralized servers and regular data back up


Documented and updated data management policy


Online, open source, customized data management system


Uniform approach for all participants


Double firewall


Data

Mangement


The recurring scheme and use of abbreviated checklists and procedures integrates safety, quality
and experimental progress into a whole without a large burden or delay in research.



The process integrates safety considerations into the design phase (HA, FMEA, checklists) and
portions related to test or experimentation (procedure with data management, safety mitigation
built
-
in and risk considerations).



It also integrates quality control through a written and predetermined process for design, test and
data handling.



The data management includes an archive of documentation on the development, results and
overall execution of an effort.



The preset process allows for enough rigidity and repeatability to ensure data integrity and
handling, yet enough brevity to allow for flexibility and progressive experimentation in a research
environment.


Summary