News

KHOU Interviews Professor Using Space Fiction to Motivate Aerospace Students

By: 

Natalie Thayer

With NASA’s recent confirmation of water on Mars and the theatrical release of the cinematic block buster The Martian, human exploration of Mars has been a hot topic for space enthusiasts.

KHOU recently interviewed Bonnie Dunbar, director of the University of Houston’s Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program and SICSA Space Architecture Program, about her STEM-focused curriculum this fall semester and her thoughts on the future of human space travel to Mars.

Dunbar assigned her students the space fiction novel The Martian by Andy Weir that inspired Ridley Scott’s movie of the same name. The novel has been lauded for Weir’s acute attention to scientific detail and the movie adaptation, which remained close to the source material, relied heavily on scientific input from NASA, even filming several scenes on site at NASA Johnson Space Center. Dunbar said she saw the story as a "potential engineering teaching tool and a worthy dose of inspiration for her engineering students.”

Watch the full interview at khou.com.

Faculty: 

Department/Academic Programs: 

Related News Stories

Cullen College of Engineering posts new 6-Year graduation high mark

The six-year graduation rate for the Cullen College of Engineering is 71.2 percent for students that began in Fall 2014, the fourth year in a row it has increased.

The Cullen College of Engineering has set a new record for its six-year graduation rate, hitting a mark of 71.2 percent for students that began in Fall 2014, according to new information released by the department's Division of Undergraduate Programs and Student Success.

Class of 2020 honored with virtual graduation celebration

Michelle Gale.

The fortitude of the Cullen College of Engineering's Class of 2020 was proudly celebrated by the university community on May 7, with a 90-minute virtual graduation celebration, featuring remarks from University of Houston leadership, a commencement speaker and most importantly, the graduating students.