Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner Gregory Odegard

The 2021 Michigan Tech Analysis Award winner develops ultrastrong composite supplies for crewed deep place missions. Composites are substantially like they sound: supplies composed of diverse substances. Their parts can enhance their all round power, toughness, bodyweight and other qualities this sort of as electrical conductivity. For case in point, […]

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

Composites are substantially like they sound: supplies composed of diverse substances. Their
parts can enhance their all round power, toughness, bodyweight and other qualities
this sort of as electrical conductivity. For case in point, deep place exploration calls for composites
that are both of those light-weight but incredibly powerful.

Which is why Greg Odegard obtained into carbon.

Odegard is the John O. Hallquist Endowed Chair in Computational Mechanics in the Office
of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Technological University.
He also prospects the NASA Institute for Extremely-Sturdy Composites by Computational Design and style (US-COMP) and the Tech Forward initiative for State-of-the-art Products and Production. Odegard exclusively scientific tests ultrastrong carbon-nanotube-based composites, and he
points out that not all carbon is equal. Even though all sporting a big C chemically, the
delicate sheets of graphite vary from the rigid power of diamond and the adaptability
and electrical qualities of graphene.

In its numerous sorts, carbon can accomplish in numerous strategies — and the difficult element with composites
is figuring out how diverse supplies interact. Computational simulation is present day
alchemy and Odegard makes use of modeling to predict what supplies to incorporate, how substantially and
whether they’ll stand up to the depths of place.

“Dr. Odegard has built a substantial impression in the industry of composite supplies analysis
by way of his revolutionary operate applying computational modeling procedures that link the
influence of molecular construction on bulk qualities.”Janet Callahan, dean of the Higher education of Engineering

Q: What is the big photograph of your analysis?

GO: Establishing new supplies for aerospace apps is quite highly-priced and time-consuming.
My group makes use of computational simulation to facilitate this procedure so we can speedily
style, characterize and generate these new supplies.

Q: What is the principal target of your operate proper now?

GO: We are applying computational simulation to enable produce the next technology of composite
supplies for crewed missions to deep place. We are functioning with a large multi-university
group on a NASA challenge to style, produce and check these new supplies. This operate
is all element of the NASA Institute for Extremely-Sturdy Composites by Computational Design and style
(US-COMP), which acquired a $fifteen million dollar grant in 2017.

Q: Wherever did you get the inspiration for the challenge?

GO: NASA is shifting some of its analysis target from minimal-Earth orbit to deep place
exploration. To enable deep place missions with crews, NASA scientists comprehend
they will have to have new constructing supplies for autos, habitats and power methods that
are lighter and more powerful than those accessible now. I am quite thrilled to be equipped
to use my team’s computational simulation know-how to enable NASA produce these supplies.

Q: How have your solutions assisted make the challenge productive?

GO: We have been equipped to enable the material suppliers for these composite supplies,
mainly resin and carbon nanotube manufacturers, to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses
of their supplies. We have also assisted them comprehend how to boost their supplies
for more best efficiency.

Analysis Stats

  • 104 journal publications
  • Additional than four dozen graduate and doctoral college students
  • 907 citations on most-cited paper
  • Additional than $21 million in analysis funding

Q: What do you come across most attention-grabbing about your operate?

GO: With no a doubt, I have the most entertaining functioning with my graduate college students and the
broader US-COMP group. Our whole group is thrilled about the analysis and our progress,
and this makes for some of the best analysis meetings I have seasoned in my vocation.
As we get nearer to our analysis plans, the group receives progressively thrilled and engaged.

Q: Who rewards from the analysis?

GO: Not only does NASA and the composite material sector gain from this analysis,
but there is a further gain to US-COMP’s operate that I not long ago observed. With our
large group and repeated interaction, I feel we have assisted pioneer a new paradigm
in large-scale interactions. We have advanced our group, which is scattered throughout the
country from multiple universities and government labs, into a restricted-knit team that
fulfills on a everyday foundation to address a remarkably intricate dilemma. I like to believe of it as
a present day Manhattan Undertaking for composite supplies.

“International recognition of Dr. Odegard’s sustained effective analysis endeavors
and revolutionary analysis procedures in computational modeling exemplify the significant regular
of analysis achievement in this article at Michigan Tech.”Bill Predebon, chair of the Office of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Q: What are the challenges you confronted?

GO: The most significant lesson I have figured out is that the essential to good results in large projects
is dependable and engaging communication. As the leader of a large challenge, I have
figured out that my most significant undertaking is to make positive all of the scientists, college students
and program supervisors are actively communicating with every other on their progress,
roadblocks and requirements. Even if it indicates I have to show up at a great number of meetings to facilitate
this conversation, it is a required requirement of a leader for a productive challenge
consequence.

Michigan Technological University is a general public analysis university, home to more than
7,000 college students from fifty four nations around the world. Started in 1885, the University features more than
a hundred and twenty undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and know-how, engineering,
forestry, enterprise and economics, wellness professions, humanities, arithmetic, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a several miles from Lake Excellent.

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