Dr. Nathaniel Helminiak, Ph.D., E.I.T.

Assistant Professor

Associate Director, Center for Innovation and Engineering



A Wisconsin born, Marquette University engineer, from a science and engineering family! During his acquisition of a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering Nathaniel worked in a variety of undergraduate research positions, with a culminating 3-story treehouse design and build project. Nathaniel's Master of Science Degree included the construction of a pneumatic accelerator, shooting materials of ~1kg up to velocities of ~1km/s. Later work within his PhD., utilized this same scientific instrument to characterize the equation of state and strength properties of porous quartz. At West Point work progresses on a brand-new pneumatic accelerator for high strain rate materials testing: WHAT A BLAST! In his free time, Nathaniel enjoys coding, collecting Hawaiian shirts, and spending time with family.

Ongoing Research Projects

Construction of a 10ft, 3/8” Bore, Light Gas Pneumatic Accelerator

Ballistics Design for Modern Army Shoot Houses

Material Properties of Rammed Earth

Ballistic Geometry Optimization

Publications & Presentations

Selected Peer-reviewed technical publications:

Helminiak, N., and Borg, J. (2020). Uniaxial wave propagation through copper mountain sandstone. AIP Conference Proceedings. Vol. 2272, No. 1, pp. 110005.

Helminiak, N., Sable, P., Harstad, E., Gullerud, A., Hollenshead, J., and Hertel, E. (2017). Characterizing in-flight temperature of explosively formed projectiles in CTH. Procedia engineering, Vol. 204, pp. 178-185.

Helminiak, N., Helminiak, D., Cariapa, V., and Borg, J. (2018). Resolving the angular velocity of two-dimensional particle interactions induced within a rotary tumbler. Journal of Visualization, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 779-793.