Utah Composites Laboratory and collaborators awarded $15 Million to establish NASA Space Technology Research Institute

May 2, 2017

Portraits of the Composites research group at the University of Utah on Friday, April 28, 2017
A team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah, along with collaborators from 11 other institutions, have been awarded a 5-year, $15M grant to establish NASA-funded Space Technology Research Institute (STRI).

The new Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) will be led by Prof. Greg Odegard from Michigan Technological University, along with Prof. Michael Czabaj from the University of Utah, Prof. Richard Liang from Florida State University, and Prof. John Hart from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The University of Utah members of US-COMP (left: Mike Czabaj, center: Dan Adams, right: Ashley Spear)

The University of Utah members of US-COMP
(left: Mike Czabaj, center: Dan Adams, right: Ashley Spear)

The University of Utah team includes Prof. Michael Czabaj from the Composites Laboratory (UCL), Prof. Ashley Spear from the Multiscale Mechanics & Materials Laboratory (MMM Lab), and Prof. Dan Adams from the UCL. The US-COMP includes 18 other faculty members from Florida A&M University, University Of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins University, University Of Colorado at Boulder, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Nonacademic partners include Nanocomp Technologies, Solvay, and the U.S. Air Force Research Lab.

The main focus of US-COMP will be to serve as a focal point for partnerships between NASA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia to: (1) enable computationally-driven development of carbon nanotube-based, ultra-high strength and toughness, lightweight structural materials, and (2) educate highly skilled scientists, engineers and technologists in this emerging field to enhance the U.S. leadership in critical lightweight structural materials. The official NASA press release can be found here.