Alicia Lau was born and raised on the island of Oahu. After graduating from James Campbell High School in 2015, she enrolled at the University of Rochester. Currently, she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Japanese Language and will become a senior in the upcoming fall. Some of her educational and career interests include renewable energy, biomedical instrumentation design engineering, and prosthetics.

She is involved in her university as a member of the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers chapter to promote professional skills amongst Asian scientists and engineers, a teaching assistant for the introductory physics courses, as well as the co-captain of the school’s pop and hip-hop dance team. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, dancing, trying new foods, and playing video games.

Home Island: Oahu
Institution when accepted: University of Rochester

Akamai Project: Designing a Ground Transport Device for the Keck Cosmic Web Imager

Project Site: W.M. Keck Observatory

Mentors: Truman Wold, Sam Park

Collaborators: Adam Vandenberg, Ean James

Project Abstract:

The W.M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) is home to twin telescopes, known as some of the world’s most scientifically productive optical and infrared telescopes. Within the observatory sits the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), a spectrograph of high efficiency and of flexible image and spectral resolutions. The Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper (KCRM), a feature that could expand the instrument’s capabilities, will be installed in the near future. The addition of the KCRM will enable new discoveries at high redshift. The primary goal of the project is to design a ground transport device that can mobilize KCWI and ensure safe transportation into the clean room for servicing. Currently the KCWI sits on the Nasmyth deck, which is about 30 feet above the dome floor. The KCWI must be transported from the Nasmyth deck into the clean room that will be on the dome floor. A list of requirements was compiled based on gathering specific constraints for the design and coming to a consensus with the engineering team on design requirements. This involved scheduling meetings with different engineers and management leaders to determine which requirements were prioritized. Multiple conceptual designs were drafted to meet the requirements and project constraints. After refining the requirements with the engineering team, we chose the optimal design and created a solid model on SolidWorks to show the effects of the external forces applied on the transport device in motion. A stress analysis of the final model will show that it will hold under the specific conditions set prior, deeming it safe for implementation. The findings of this project will assist the engineers who will implement the transport device for the KCWI in the near future.