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Professors Showcasing Science Behind Star Wars’ Technology in Indiana State Museum’s 'Science Nights'

July 1, 2013

         C-3PO Presentation

Droids Presentation: Mechanical engineering professor David Fisher, PhD, addressed a session in July on whether some aspects of technology from Star Wars’ movies are realistic or just science fiction. (Photo by Chris Minnick)

     Future automotive technology will be discussed by mechanical engineering professor Zac Chambers, PhD, and student members of Rose-Hulman’s EcoCAR 2 advanced transportation project team on August 29 during the Indiana State Museum’s Science Nights summer education series.

     These special events are complementing the museum’s Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition. Each session will offer a real-world look into the science behind technology featured in Star Wars movies.

     “Where is My Rocket Car?” will be the topic of the third and final program in this summer’s series. It will include a panel discussion with students developing a sustainable vehicle for the EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future vehicle development competition, organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Company.

     Tomorrow’s vehicles will be more efficient, sustainable, lightweight and durable than past models, according to Chambers. These “Cars of the Future” will maintain consumer acceptability in the areas of performance, utility and safety—and may develop into the land speeders featured in Star Wars. 

Advancing Transportation: Mechanical engineering professor Zac Chambers, PhD, is director of Rose-Hulman’s advanced transportation program. (Photo by Samantha McGranhan) 

     Other Rose-Hulman professors featured in Science Nights programs have been mechanical engineering professor David Fisher, PhD, who discussed “Fact or Fiction: The Droids from Star Wars,” and physics and optical engineering professors Charles Joenathan, PhD; Galen Duree, PhD; and Sergio Granieri, PhD, in highlighting laser and hologram technology.

Each session will be from 7-8 p.m. at the Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St. in downtown Indianapolis. The cost is $10 per museum member and $15 per non-member. This cost also includes an opportunity to participate in the museum’s Millenium Falcon experience that’s part of this summer’s Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition. For more information, contact the Indiana State Museum at 317-232-1637 or go to