COOKING IN MICROGRAVITY
Food processing tools are the missing link in a sustainable food supply chain for long term space habitation. While there is significant research into crop production in space, there has been very little work on how to cook and process food into delicious and nutritious meals in partial gravity environments. Fluid-mediated cooking in microgravity poses challenges in terms of fluid and thermal management. I designed H0TP0T, a prototype cooking system that leverages capillary forces and specialized geometries to enable liquid-mediated cooking in microgravity. This work is supported by NASA and the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative.

Select publications
Poster, “H0TP0T – Passive Fluid Management for Cooking in Microgravity.” American Society for Gravitational and Space Research annual meeting. Baltimore, MD. November, 2021. [pdf]

DEHYDRATION AND REHYDRATION IN FOOD SYSTEMS
I use the tools of soft matter physics to understand the kinetics of dehydration and rehydration of complex food structures. Pasta is a tractable model system for studying the rheological properties of materials with an axi-symmetric modulus gradient. We investigate the design of novel 3D-printed rheometer geometries to quantify the stiffness gradient that develops in pasta during cooking.

Select publications
Poster, “Quantifying ‘Al Dente’ in Pasta Using 3D-printed Rheometer Geometries.” (accepted) Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting. Chicago, IL. July 2022.

SIRONA, A BIOREGENERATIVE LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM ON MARS
SIRONA (Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture) is a radical new design for a Martian greenhouse that draws upon principles of biophilic design to provide recreation and restoration to crew members. SIRONA is unique amongst BLSS designs for integrating food preparation capabilities with the crop production system. I contributed elements related to post-harvest processing, kitchen layout, and nutritional analysis.

Select publications
Hava, H., Zhou, H. L., Mehlenbeck, C., et al. (2020) “SIRONA: Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture. Part 2--Design Development and Projected Performance.” Acta Astronautica.

Hava, H., Zhou, H. L., Lombardi, L., et al. “SIRONA: Part 1--Architecture and Technology.” International Conference on Environmental Systems annual meeting. Boston, MA. July, 2019. [pdf]

Awards
  • Most Innovative Concept - 2019 NASA BIG Idea Challenge
  • Best Student Paper Award - 2019 AIAA Space Architecture Division