Q&A with MTU Research Award Winner Gregory Odegard

Victoria D. Doty

The 2021 Michigan Tech Investigation Award winner develops ultrastrong composite components
for crewed deep room missions.

Composites are significantly like they seem: components composed of distinct substances. Their
factors can enhance their over-all strength, toughness, fat and other attributes
this sort of as electrical conductivity. For illustration, deep room exploration demands composites
that are both lightweight but extremely sturdy.

That is why Greg Odegard bought 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 prospects the NASA Institute for Extremely-Powerful Composites by Computational Design and style (US-COMP) and the Tech Ahead initiative for Innovative Supplies and Producing. Odegard specifically reports ultrastrong carbon-nanotube-centered composites, and he
factors out that not all carbon is equal. When all sporting a massive C chemically, the
comfortable sheets of graphite vary from the rigid strength of diamond and the overall flexibility
and electrical attributes of graphene.

In its numerous types, carbon can complete in numerous methods — and the tricky element with composites
is figuring out how distinct components interact. Computational simulation is modern
alchemy and Odegard utilizes modeling to forecast what components to mix, how significantly and
no matter if they’ll stand up to the depths of room.

“Dr. Odegard has manufactured a substantial effect in the industry of composite components investigate
by way of his groundbreaking function making use of computational modeling tactics that url the
influence of molecular construction on bulk attributes.”Janet Callahan, dean of the Higher education of Engineering

Q: What is the massive photo of your investigate?

GO: Producing new components for aerospace programs is extremely highly-priced and time-consuming.
My team utilizes computational simulation to aid this procedure so we can swiftly
layout, characterize and develop these new components.

Q: What is the principal aim of your function proper now?

GO: We are making use of computational simulation to aid acquire the upcoming generation of composite
components for crewed missions to deep room. We are operating with a huge multi-university
team on a NASA task to layout, acquire and exam these new components. This function
is all element of the NASA Institute for Extremely-Powerful Composites by Computational Design and style
(US-COMP), which been given a $fifteen million greenback grant in 2017.

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

GO: NASA is shifting some of its investigate aim from lower-Earth orbit to deep room
exploration. To permit deep room missions with crews, NASA scientists realize
they will will need new making components for motor vehicles, habitats and electrical power methods that
are lighter and more powerful than people available now. I am extremely psyched to be ready
to use my team’s computational simulation expertise to aid NASA acquire these components.

Q: How have your solutions assisted make the task prosperous?

GO: We have been ready to aid the material suppliers for these composite components,
mainly resin and carbon nanotube makers, to realize the strengths and weaknesses
of their components. We have also assisted them realize how to make improvements to their components
for a lot more optimal performance.

Investigation Stats

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

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

GO: With out a question, I have the most enjoyment operating with my graduate learners and the
broader US-COMP team. Our whole team is psyched about the investigate and our progress,
and this would make for some of the very best investigate conferences I have expert in my profession.
As we get closer to our investigate targets, the team will get ever more psyched and engaged.

Q: Who rewards from the investigate?

GO: Not only does NASA and the composite material market benefit from this investigate,
but there is an additional benefit to US-COMP’s function that I lately noticed. With our
huge team and recurrent interaction, I come to feel we have assisted pioneer a new paradigm
in huge-scale interactions. We have evolved our team, which is scattered across the
region from various universities and government labs, into a restricted-knit group that
fulfills on a each day basis to solve a very sophisticated trouble. I like to assume of it as
a modern Manhattan Challenge for composite components.

“Global recognition of Dr. Odegard’s sustained productive investigate endeavors
and groundbreaking investigate tactics in computational modeling exemplify the higher typical
of investigate accomplishment in this article at Michigan Tech.”Invoice Predebon, chair of the Section of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Q: What are the worries you confronted?

GO: The most vital lesson I have learned is that the essential to good results in huge assignments
is constant and participating communication. As the leader of a huge task, I have
learned that my most vital endeavor is to make sure all of the scientists, learners
and software supervisors are actively speaking with every other on their progress,
roadblocks and demands. Even if it signifies I have to attend many conferences to aid
this dialogue, it is a required prerequisite of a leader for a prosperous task
outcome.

Michigan Technological College is a general public investigate university, property to a lot more than
seven,000 learners from fifty four countries. Founded in 1885, the College offers a lot more than
a hundred and twenty undergraduate and graduate degree plans in science and engineering, engineering,
forestry, enterprise and economics, overall health professions, humanities, arithmetic, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a couple of miles from Lake Outstanding.

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