As high profile launches like Artemis 1 have propelled public interest in space exploration, the stories that topped UCF’s Top 10 Research News list this year have reflected this renewed focus on reaching the moon and beyond.

These were stories about innovative ways to build off-world settlements; prospecting for resources in understudied portions of the moon; creating new ways to power vehicles and spacecraft; and the strange behaviors of a near-Earth asteroid.

Many of the top stories also highlighted amazing innovations achieved when disciplines, like engineering and medicine, intersect. These included stories about the development of a rapid test for Lyme disease; a real-time, optics-based device for monitoring blood clots; and engineering solutions for physiological problems of the heart.

And in one of the most popular stories of the past year, mechanical and aerospace engineers used jet propulsion research techniques to answer a top question during the pandemic —do face masks work?

Rounding out the top 10 were stories focused on sustainability, including the genetic rescue of Florida panthers and developing zero-carbon emission jet engines.

Here are the Top 10 UCF Research News Stories of 2022:

  1. Face Masks Cut Distance Airborne Pathogens Could Travel in Half, New Study Finds
  2. UCF Researchers Create Lunar Regolith Bricks That Could Be Used to Construct Artemis Base Camp
  3. NASA Selects UCF for $35 Million Mission to the Moon’s Mysterious Gruithuisen Domes
  4. UCF and NASA Researchers Design Charged ‘Power Suits’ for Electric Vehicles and Spacecraft
  5. Monitoring Genetic Mutations Will Be Important for Florida Panther Management
  6. Arecibo Observatory-led Team Discovers Large Near-Earth Asteroid Has Changing Rotation
  7. UCF-developed Real-time Blood Monitor Saves Doctors Critical Time During Surgery
  8. UCF to Lead $10M NASA Project to Develop Zero-Carbon Jet Engines
  9. Rapid Lyme Disease Tests Could Soon Be Heading to A Doctor’s Office Near You
  10. UCF Researchers Use Engineering Expertise to Solve Problems of the Heart

The annual top 10 list is based on UCF Today page views and coverage UCF research received by global, national, state, and local media. The stories were generated by news releases and pitches from UCF’s Office of Research and colleges.

Overall, UCF research was referenced in more than 3,100 total news stories in 2022. Media outlets the stories appeared in included the New York Times, Forbes, Daily Mail, Popular Science, the Orlando Sentinel, WFTV, Fox35, WESH, Spectrum News13, WKMG, WMFE, the Orlando Business Journal, Florida Today, Florida Trend, and more.