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The University of Alabama

UA Engineering Student Awarded NASA Fellowship

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship awarded University of Alabama civil engineering student Will Guin a renewable fellowship for graduate school.

With the program, NASA seeks to develop ties with researchers at universities and cultivate new, highly trained engineers and scientists by providing scholarships to graduate and doctoral students pursuing science, mathematics and engineering related to NASA research.

Guin, of Winfield, graduated this month, and he will continue his graduate studies in the UA College of Engineering, working with Dr. Jialai Wang, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. The two hope to develop a way to use carbon nanotubes, or CNT’s, to strengthen the fiber reinforced polymers used in the fields of aerospace, automotive, electronics, renewable energy, civil infrastructure and sports equipment.

Unlike in similar research projects, Guin and Wang will use what they call “poptube  technology,” producing cost-effective, more energy efficient CNT’s  at room temperature without inert gas.

“Our collaboration with NASA will allow us to push the boundaries of CNT technology in developing this potentially-groundbreaking approach,” Guin said. “This work could lead to the next generation of high-performance hybrid materials, which would have direct applications in aerospace technology – particularly in structural materials used in spacecraft.”

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has more than 3,900 students and more than 110 faculty. In the last eight years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Mitchell, Portz and Truman scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.