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Conference 2018

October 9-12, 2018

William Schonberg

William Schonberg

Civil Engineering Department
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Dr. William P. Schonberg is a Professor of Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is a registered professional engineer in the States of Missouri and Alabama, and has over 30 years teaching and research experience in the areas of shock physics, spacecraft protection, hypervelocity impact, and penetration mechanics. Dr. Schonberg received his BSCE from Princeton University in 1981, and his MS and PhD degrees from Northwestern University in 1983 and 1986, respectively.

The results of his research have been applied to a wide variety of engineering problems, including the development of orbital debris protection systems for spacecraft in low earth orbit, kinetic energy weapons, the collapse of buildings under explosive loads, insensitive munitions, and aging aircraft. Dr. Schonberg’s scholarly activities have been supported by contract and grants from a variety of federal, state, and private funding agencies, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, The Army Research Office, and Sandia National Laboratories, to name a few.

At Missouri S&T, Dr. Schonberg continues to teach a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in civil, mechanical, and aerospace engineering. In 2014 he was a Visiting Professor at the University College of the Cayman Islands where he taught Engineering Law and Ethics as part of that university’s new engineering program.

Dr. Schonberg is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; most recently he was named a Distinguished Scientist  the Hypervelocity Impact Society in recognition of his many scholarly accomplishments as well as his dedication to the Society, its programs, and its student members. In 2007 Dr. Schonberg received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation in Germany. This award enabled him to spend 7 months at the Fraunhofer Ernst Mach Institute in Freiburg, Germany working on advanced protection systems for satellites and developing preliminary designs for safe lunar habitats using in-situ materials for protection against meteoroid impacts.


10 October 2018 02:00 PM–03:00 PM

All spacecraft in earth orbit (like the International Space Station) are exposed to being hit by pieces space junk. Even a marble-size piece of junk can destroy a satellite. Now many companies (like SpaceX and Samsung) are beginning to place 1000s of satellites in orbit, to help track hurricanes or bring the internet to everyone. I’ll talk about how this could affect the safety of our astronauts, and have some hardware to show how we are working hard to protect them.

11 October 2018 11:00 AM–12:00 PM

We often talk about engineering and art as if they are totally different. Also, if you look at a typical campus map, engineers are often put far from the liberal arts. I believe there is an interaction between these two areas, that this linkage should be reinforced, and that more people should be made aware of it. I’ll have examples to show how some cool art relies HEAVILY on engineering, and how some engineering marvels have an intrinsic beauty we all can appreciate.