Skip to main content

10 Within 10 Recognition

Troy Lyons '15

This is a headshot of Troy Lyons standing outdoors.

College: College of Science and Engineering

Troy has had a fascination with physics from an early age. At CMU, he was fortunate to study under faculty in both the physics and math departments. He thrived in an environment with those who shared his passion for those subjects. After graduating from CMU with a double major in math and physics, he went to Ohio State where he later got his PhD in mechanical engineering. His work at Ohio State was to apply concepts from solid mechanics to foreign object damage in jet engines. That project was in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and motivated by safety concerns related to the increase in UAV/drones in our airspace that will occur in the future.

In his final year of his PhD, Troy was able to land a position as an aerospace engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center. At NASA, he fulfills multiple roles. Much of his work is computational, where he simulates the mechanical properties of various systems and materials. This includes fluid structure interaction simulations of the Orion crew module in the ocean, and plastic deformation of metals and composites under ballistic impact and energy absorption applications. He additionally conducts environmental shock testing to verify that hardware is sufficiently strong to survive rocket stage separation during launch.

Troy is glad he spent four years at CMU solely devoted to math and physics prior to turning to more applied work. This was a non-traditional path into engineering, and was particularly difficult in the short term, but one that ultimately suited him well in the long term. Even though his work has become more applied, he still loves fundamental math and science as much as he did when he studied it several years ago. He is passionate about mentoring students and interns and gaining deeper technical understanding whenever possible.