Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner Gregory Odegard

The 2021 Michigan Tech Analysis Award winner develops ultrastrong composite supplies
for crewed deep area missions.

Composites are considerably like they seem: supplies composed of unique substances. Their
parts can enhance their in general energy, toughness, body weight and other homes
such as electrical conductivity. For case in point, deep area exploration demands composites
that are both of those light-weight but unbelievably powerful.

That’s why Greg Odegard acquired into carbon.

Odegard is the John O. Hallquist Endowed Chair in Computational Mechanics in the Section
of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological College.
He also qualified prospects the NASA Institute for Extremely-Powerful Composites by Computational Design and style (US-COMP) and the Tech Ahead initiative for Innovative Materials and Producing. Odegard specially reports ultrastrong carbon-nanotube-dependent composites, and he
factors out that not all carbon is equivalent. Though all sporting a major C chemically, the
soft sheets of graphite differ from the rigid energy of diamond and the versatility
and electrical homes of graphene.

In its many forms, carbon can perform in many methods — and the difficult portion with composites
is figuring out how unique supplies interact. Computational simulation is modern-day
alchemy and Odegard takes advantage of modeling to predict what supplies to combine, how considerably and
no matter whether they’ll stand up to the depths of area.

“Dr. Odegard has created a substantial effect in the industry of composite supplies exploration
through his groundbreaking function working with computational modeling techniques that link the
affect of molecular composition on bulk homes.”Janet Callahan, dean of the School of Engineering

Q: What is the major photograph of your exploration?

GO: Developing new supplies for aerospace applications is pretty pricey and time-consuming.
My workforce takes advantage of computational simulation to aid this method so we can promptly
style, characterize and create these new supplies.

Q: What is the main concentration of your function correct now?

GO: We are working with computational simulation to help develop the next technology of composite
supplies for crewed missions to deep area. We are doing the job with a huge multi-university
workforce on a NASA project to style, develop and check these new supplies. This function
is all portion of the NASA Institute for Extremely-Powerful Composites by Computational Design and style
(US-COMP), which acquired a $fifteen million greenback grant in 2017.

Q: The place did you get the inspiration for the project?

GO: NASA is shifting some of its exploration concentration from minimal-Earth orbit to deep area
exploration. To permit deep area missions with crews, NASA scientists comprehend
they will want new building supplies for motor vehicles, habitats and electric power techniques that
are lighter and much better than individuals accessible these days. I am pretty energized to be capable
to use my team’s computational simulation knowledge to help NASA develop these supplies.

Q: How have your strategies helped make the project successful?

GO: We have been capable to help the materials suppliers for these composite supplies,
generally resin and carbon nanotube companies, to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses
of their supplies. We have also helped them comprehend how to make improvements to their supplies
for a lot more best general performance.

Analysis Stats

  • 104 journal publications
  • Much more than four dozen graduate and doctoral students
  • 907 citations on most-cited paper
  • Much more than $21 million in exploration funding

Q: What do you uncover most appealing about your function?

GO: Without having a doubt, I have the most enjoyment doing the job with my graduate students and the
broader US-COMP workforce. Our entire workforce is energized about the exploration and our development,
and this makes for some of the very best exploration meetings I have seasoned in my vocation.
As we get closer to our exploration targets, the workforce will get increasingly energized and engaged.

Q: Who gains from the exploration?

GO: Not only does NASA and the composite materials field profit from this exploration,
but there is an additional profit to US-COMP’s function that I lately noticed. With our
huge workforce and recurrent interaction, I come to feel we have helped pioneer a new paradigm
in huge-scale interactions. We have progressed our workforce, which is scattered across the
state from many universities and governing administration labs, into a restricted-knit group that
fulfills on a day by day basis to clear up a hugely complicated difficulty. I like to consider of it as
a modern-day Manhattan Venture for composite supplies.

“Intercontinental recognition of Dr. Odegard’s sustained effective exploration endeavors
and groundbreaking exploration techniques in computational modeling exemplify the superior regular
of exploration accomplishment right here at Michigan Tech.”Bill Predebon, chair of the Section of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Q: What are the difficulties you confronted?

GO: The most vital lesson I have learned is that the critical to accomplishment in huge assignments
is constant and engaging interaction. As the chief of a huge project, I have
learned that my most vital task is to make positive all of the scientists, students
and application managers are actively speaking with just about every other on their development,
roadblocks and requires. Even if it means I have to show up at many meetings to aid
this dialogue, it is a vital necessity of a chief for a successful project
final result.

Michigan Technological College is a community exploration university, house to a lot more than
seven,000 students from 54 countries. Started in 1885, the College provides a lot more than
one hundred twenty undergraduate and graduate degree plans in science and technological innovation, engineering,
forestry, small business and economics, wellbeing professions, humanities, mathematics, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a handful of miles from Lake Outstanding.