News Flash Home
The original item was published from 12/30/2022 7:36:46 AM to 1/18/2023 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

News Releases

Posted on: December 30, 2022

[ARCHIVED] "Science Café" Online with the Museum of Nature and Science and Sigma Xi

Picture of Douglas Cortes

The Museum of Nature & Science and Sigma Xi present “Science Café – Bio-inspiration and extraterrestrial subsurface exploration,” with guest speaker Douglas Cortes, Ph.D.
Dr. Cortes joins us via Zoom at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 from New Mexico State University. Please email or call 575/522-3120 for a link to the program or go to with webinar ID 82547784267.
 On Earth, heavy equipment provides the reaction forces needed to overcome the resistance for drilling and mining below the surface. However, these same machines will not work on the surface of the moon which has a low gravity and low power environment.
 Dr. Cortes and his team at NMSU have turned to earthworms for inspiration to overcome the limitations of exploring terrestrial and extraterrestrial subsurface environments. Earthworms have had more than 300 million years to develop and fine tune sophisticated light-weight subsurface penetration strategies that work more with the ground than against it.
 These organisms not only use granular media for support but are also capable of adjusting their deformable bodies to gain mechanical advantages and maneuver around obstacles, reducing the energy needed for excavation. Learn about the results of bio-inspired tests performed by Dr. Cortes and his team using a simple earthworm-inspired soil penetration device that combines a miniature steel cone penetrometer with a soft membrane deployed into a bed of mock lunar rocks (LMS-1).
 Douglas Cortes, Ph.D., M.ASCE is the Harold Foreman Endowed Associate Professor for Excellence in Civil Engineering at NMSU. He received his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and doctorate degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
 Dr. Cortes is the secretary of the ASCE Sustainability in Geotechnical Engineering Committee and a senior investigator at the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics. He also serves as NMSU’s point of contact at the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium.
 His research interests include bio-inspired geotechnics, ground improvement, wireless underground sensor networks, asset management, and planetary landed exploration, construction, and mining. His research group is funded by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, National Science Foundation, and NASA.
The Museum of Nature & Science, 411 N. Main St., is accessible via RoadRUNNER Transit Route 1, Stop 1. For information, visit the Museum System website at: or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @LCMuseums.
For information, contact Stephanie Hawkins, Education Curator, at 575/541-3372 or by email at

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in News Releases

Water Manhole COver

Desert Hills Elementary School Water Outage

Posted on: September 22, 2023
2 Police Vehicles

Multi-Agency Operation Reaches 480 Contacts

Posted on: September 22, 2023
City Councilors

City Council Work Session on Sept. 25, 2023

Posted on: September 22, 2023
Splash Pad

Aquatic Splash Pads to Close Oct. 1, 2023

Posted on: September 21, 2023
Road Closed

University Avenue Intersections Closures

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Electric cars charging

Electric Vehicle Showcase

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Lane Closure (1)

Pioneer Place Lane Closure Planned

Posted on: September 19, 2023
Pumpkin Palooza

Pumpkin Palooza Set for Oct. 14

Posted on: September 19, 2023
Firefighters standing in front of damaged house on Almendra Street

Fire to unoccupied house on Almendra Street

Posted on: September 18, 2023
Road Closed Sign

Midway Avenue Reconstruction

Posted on: September 15, 2023
Las Cruces Natatorium

Teen Splash Night

Posted on: September 14, 2023
Lane Closure (1)

Roadrunner Parkway Lane Closure

Posted on: September 13, 2023
Jordan Marshall Cleveland

Missing Las Cruces Boy Located

Posted on: September 13, 2023
Group of people reading

Reader's Theater

Posted on: September 7, 2023
Repairs ongoing to the I-10 to I-25 Ramp

Interstate 10 to I-25 Ramp Closure Update

Posted on: September 8, 2023
image of faucet dripping water

Bellamah Drive Valve Exercise

Posted on: September 7, 2023
Woman and child picking up trash

Team Up to Clean Up "Call for Volunteers!"

Posted on: September 6, 2023
National Library Card Sign Up Month

National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Posted on: September 1, 2023
Road Closed Sign

Bellamah Drive Roadway Project

Posted on: August 29, 2023
Lane Closure (1)

Midway Avenue Reconstruction

Posted on: August 18, 2023
People watching a movie in the park

2023 Movies in the Park

Posted on: May 11, 2023
Volunteers picking up trash in front of colorful mural

Team Up to Clean Up 2023!

Posted on: January 19, 2023
Road Closed Sign

Westway Avenue Closure

Posted on: November 2, 2022