Dustin Summy
Dustin Summy, Ph.D.
Associate
Thermal Sciences
Menlo Park

Dr. Summy's background is in aerospace engineering with primary expertise in gas dynamics, fluid mechanics, rarefied gas dynamics, turbulence, and mathematical and computational modeling. He has developed this expertise through applications in spacecraft missions, rarefied gas dynamics, and the development of new gas dynamics simulation methods.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Summy completed his Ph.D. thesis at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT, Caltech) with investigations into function reconstruction from limited information using the Principle of Maximum Entropy, and applying the resulting mathematical method to create a new gas dynamics simulation method. This work leveraged careful diagnostic interpretation of results, knowledge of numerical methods, understanding of computational limitations, and physical intuition. Caltech’s interdisciplinary environment and broad Masters of Science program allowed additional work in the areas of plasma engineering, shock tubes, particle image velocimetry (PIV), and turbulence modeling.

During Dr. Summy’s undergraduate studies at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas, he participated in NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission as a research assistant. He developed a gas dynamics model using DSMC to predict and interpret measured amounts of volatile compounds in the debris plume following the impact of a rocket stage into a crater near the Moon’s South Pole. The results of this mission confirmed the hypothesized presence of water ice and other volatiles in lunar polar craters.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2017
  • M.S., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2011
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering,, University of Texas, Austin, 2010
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Caltech, 2013

    Terry Foundation Scholarship, University of Texas, 2006-2010

Publications

Colaprete A, Schultz P, Heldmann J, Wooden D, Shirley M, Ennico K, Hermalyn B, Marshall W, Ricco A, Elphic RC, Goldstein DB, Summy DP, Bart GD, Asphaug E, Korycansky D, Landis D, Sollitt L. Detection of water in the LCROSS ejecta plume. Science 22 Oct. 2010; 330(6003):463-468. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/330/6003/463

Goldstein DB, Summy DP, Colaprete A, Varghese PL, Trafton LM. Modeling the vapor and dust dynamics due to the impact of the LCROSS spacecraft on the moon.Rarefied Gas Dynamics , 26th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics, ed. T. Abe, Kyoto, AIP Conf. Proc, 1084, pp. 1061-1066, 2009.

Conference Presentations and Abstracts

Summy DP, Pullin DI. Fast maximum entropy moment closure approach to solving the Boltzmann equation. APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Fall 2013.

Summy DP, Goldstein DB, Varghese PL, Trafton LM, aColaprete A. Gas and dust dynamic model of the LCROSS impacts. Poster Presentation and Abstract. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 2091, 2010.

Retherford KD, Gladstone R, Stern A, Hurley D, Feldman P, Pryor W, Hendrix A, Goldstein DB, Summy DP. Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) detections of LCROSS impact plume gas. EGU General Assembly, p.12950, 2010.

Retherford KD, Gladstone GR, Stern SA, Parker JW, Greathouse TK, Steffl AJ, Davis MW, Slater DC, Kaufmann DE, Versteeg MH, Egan AF, Miles PF, Feldman PD, Hurley DM, Pryor WR, Hendrix AR, Goldstein DB, Summy DP. Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) observations of the LCROSS impact. Fall AGU Meeting, U31B-0030, 2009.

Summy DP, Goldstein DB, Colaprete A, Varghese PL, Trafton LM. LCROSS impact gas and dust dynamics. Poster Presentation and Abstract. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract 2267, 2009.

Prior Experience

Teaching Assistant, California Institute of Technology, 2012-2013, 2015

Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin, 2008-2010

Professional Affiliations

American Physical Society

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2017
  • M.S., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2011
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering,, University of Texas, Austin, 2010
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Caltech, 2013

    Terry Foundation Scholarship, University of Texas, 2006-2010