Cutting Down Time To Speed Up Progress In The Aerospace Industry

Cutting Down Time To Speed Up Progress In The Aerospace Industry

Deep within a UH computer, models being built by Theocharis Baxevanis, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, just may cause a sea change in the aerospace industry. The hydro-mechanical system actuator, like an on/off switch, that controls the wing flaps (you see them coming up as a plane is landing) could be replaced with a new solid-state actuator made of a new High Temperature Shape Memory Alloy (HTSMA) that is lighter and more cost efficient.

“I’m trying to design the material that will make this new technology available for the aerospace industry as soon as possible,” said Baxevanis.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded him and his co-PIs at Texas A&M University $1.5M to carry out the work. The grant comes through the NSF’s Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program, in support of the multi-agency federal Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), seeking to target one of the primary MGI goals — to halve the current time and cost for transitioning breakthroughs from the laboratory to the marketplace — a process that can take as long as two decades.

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