Space Florida, Space Grant Consortium Award 15 Research Grants

space_florida_logoEXPLORATION PARK, FL, September 3, 2014 (Space Florida PR) – 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 Hefanzi)
  • 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 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 industry.

“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