Krystal Acosta

Krystal Acosta
Mentor: Dr. Shannon Ridgeway
College of Engineering
"Research, to me, is a way to involve yourself with the faculty while gaining valuable knowledge in your field of study. It is a way to apply theories learned in class, to help you reinforce those theories, and learn new material."


Aerospace Engineering


Astronomy; Materials Science Engineering

Research Interests

  • Experimental Propulsion
  • Material Properties
  • Deep Space

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Knox T. Millsaps Memorial Scholarship
  • Pratt and Whitney Scholarship
  • L.C. Pasley Scholarship
  • President's Honor Roll


  • UF Rocket Team
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics Society



Hobbies and Interests

  • Rocketry
  • Reading
  • Video Games
  • Tennis

Research Description

Designing and Testing an Aerospike Engine using Novel Materials

The goal of this project is to design and create an Aerospike Engine while exploring novel materials to be used for the nozzle of the engine. An aerospike engine is a type of rocket engine that pushes fuel into one direction, adding to forward thrust, which increases the efficiency of the engine. This decreases the amount of fuel needed to reach a specified height. In a normal rocket engine, the distribution of fuel is random so only a fraction of it is actually contributing to forward thrust. The best material to make the aerospike nozzle out of should be light in weight, able to withstand high temperatures, and be simple to fabricate.