May 7, 2021


Born to play

Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner Gregory Odegard

The 2021 Michigan Tech Exploration Award winner develops ultrastrong composite resources for crewed deep area...

The 2021 Michigan Tech Exploration Award winner develops ultrastrong composite resources
for crewed deep area missions.

Composites are significantly like they seem: resources composed of distinct substances. Their
factors can enrich their in general strength, toughness, bodyweight and other attributes
this kind of as electrical conductivity. For example, deep area exploration needs composites
that are both equally light-weight but extremely potent.

Which is why Greg Odegard got into carbon.

Odegard is the John O. Hallquist Endowed Chair in Computational Mechanics in the Office
of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological College.
He also leads the NASA Institute for Ultra-Sturdy Composites by Computational Style and design (US-COMP) and the Tech Forward initiative for Highly developed Elements and Producing. Odegard specially scientific tests ultrastrong carbon-nanotube-primarily based composites, and he
details out that not all carbon is equivalent. Whilst all sporting a significant C chemically, the
delicate sheets of graphite differ from the rigid strength of diamond and the overall flexibility
and electrical attributes of graphene.

In its numerous varieties, carbon can carry out in numerous approaches — and the difficult portion with composites
is figuring out how distinct resources interact. Computational simulation is contemporary
alchemy and Odegard uses modeling to predict what resources to merge, how significantly and
whether or not they’ll stand up to the depths of area.

“Dr. Odegard has made a major affect in the discipline of composite resources analysis
by his pioneering function utilizing computational modeling procedures that website link the
affect of molecular structure on bulk attributes.”Janet Callahan, dean of the Higher education of Engineering

Q: What is the significant photo of your analysis?

GO: Producing new resources for aerospace programs is extremely highly-priced and time-consuming.
My workforce uses computational simulation to aid this process so we can immediately
style, characterize and make these new resources.

Q: What is the primary target of your function ideal now?

GO: We are utilizing computational simulation to support acquire the future era of composite
resources for crewed missions to deep area. We are operating with a significant multi-university
workforce on a NASA job to style, acquire and test these new resources. This function
is all portion of the NASA Institute for Ultra-Sturdy Composites by Computational Style and design
(US-COMP), which been given a $15 million greenback grant in 2017.

Q: In which did you get the inspiration for the job?

GO: NASA is shifting some of its analysis target from lower-Earth orbit to deep area
exploration. To permit deep area missions with crews, NASA scientists understand
they will have to have new creating resources for automobiles, habitats and electricity devices that
are lighter and much better than these offered these days. I am extremely excited to be equipped
to use my team’s computational simulation expertise to support NASA acquire these resources.

Q: How have your solutions served make the job successful?

GO: We have been equipped to support the substance suppliers for these composite resources,
typically resin and carbon nanotube brands, to understand the strengths and weaknesses
of their resources. We have also served them understand how to enhance their resources
for a lot more best effectiveness.

Exploration Stats

  • 104 journal publications
  • Far more than 4 dozen graduate and doctoral students
  • 907 citations on most-cited paper
  • Far more than $21 million in analysis funding

Q: What do you obtain most attention-grabbing about your function?

GO: Without having a doubt, I have the most enjoyable operating with my graduate students and the
broader US-COMP workforce. Our entire workforce is excited about the analysis and our progress,
and this helps make for some of the finest analysis conferences I have knowledgeable in my profession.
As we get nearer to our analysis plans, the workforce receives progressively excited and engaged.

Q: Who added benefits from the analysis?

GO: Not only does NASA and the composite substance business advantage from this analysis,
but there is a different advantage to US-COMP’s function that I lately noticed. With our
significant workforce and repeated conversation, I feel we have served pioneer a new paradigm
in significant-scale interactions. We have advanced our workforce, which is scattered across the
country from a number of universities and government labs, into a restricted-knit group that
meets on a every day basis to resolve a highly sophisticated trouble. I like to imagine of it as
a contemporary Manhattan Venture for composite resources.

“International recognition of Dr. Odegard’s sustained productive analysis endeavors
and pioneering analysis procedures in computational modeling exemplify the high conventional
of analysis accomplishment listed here at Michigan Tech.”Bill Predebon, chair of the Office of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Q: What are the worries you confronted?

GO: The most vital lesson I have figured out is that the crucial to good results in significant jobs
is constant and participating conversation. As the leader of a significant job, I have
figured out that my most vital endeavor is to make guaranteed all of the scientists, students
and application managers are actively speaking with every other on their progress,
roadblocks and needs. Even if it signifies I have to show up at plenty of conferences to aid
this conversation, it is a important prerequisite of a leader for a successful job

Michigan Technological College is a community analysis university, property to a lot more than
7,000 students from 54 nations. Started in 1885, the College features a lot more than
a hundred and twenty undergraduate and graduate degree courses in science and technological know-how, engineering,
forestry, business and economics, health and fitness professions, humanities, mathematics, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a number of miles from Lake Excellent.