National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Peter Knapp

Peter Knapp

Peter Knapp

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, June 2014

NASA Academy Research Project
Behavior Characterization of Emerging Aero-Propulsion Materials

Mentors: Susan Draper and Tim Gabb

Hometown: Park Ridge, IL



“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Every time I hear this quote I am reminded of how important passion is in everything I do. It supersedes intelligence or talent in importance. It gives one the focus necessary to tackle a problem, and the willpower to overcome the obstacles in the way. I am passionate about engineering, and creating novel and innovative systems to improve the world is wildly exciting to me and is something I would be happy to do for the rest of my life.

Education and Experiences

I will be a senior in the Northwestern University Mechanical Engineering and Honors Curriculum Integrated Science Programs next fall.

Outside of the classroom I have participated in three long term research projects. The first focused on the X-ray analysis of novel inorganic/organic material nanostructures and film for use in future transistors. The second concerned the deposition of multilayers of ferromagnetic/anti-ferromagnetic multilayers, with applications for magnetic memory storage, using pulsed laser deposition. My most recent project focuses on the analysis of magnetically smart materials and their potential applications in the field of X-ray astronomy. I cannot wait for the next experience.

Hobbies and Interests

In high school I was a member of the cross country, track, debate, and math teams. I spent my extra time working as a camp counselor/supervisor for the Maine Niles Association of Special Recreation and Earning. In college my interested shifted to more informal activities and I am involved in running and films clubs on campus.

Outside of school I am an avid reader and particularly enjoy the work of Markus Zusak and Ken Follett. I could also be classed as an amateur chef and love messing around in the kitchen trying to make something tasty.