NASA has recently selected teams of university faculty and students to participate in the agency’s University Leadership Initiative (ULI) with a research focus on sustainable aviation. The teams will spend up to five years on the potential awards, exploring novel ideas, including the elimination of emissions and autonomy research in support of advanced air mobility. The full announcement is available as the NASA Release 21-176.
ULI gives the academic community an opportunity to contribute to NASA’s aeronautical research and provide students with valuable experience in solving real-world technical challenges. “Aviation of the future has to be climate-friendly to keep the world flying, and a great way to do that is to allow tomorrow’s top minds to begin making contributions to these goals while still in school,” said Koushik Datta, ULI project manager.
Four large multi-disciplinary teams have been selected nationwide. The one including the University of Kentucky is led by Florida State University and comprises Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of New York at Buffalo, and Georgia Tech. The industrial partners include Raytheon, Boeing, and Advanced Magnet Lab. The UK team will also work closely on this project with the high-tech company QM Power, Inc. The multi-organizational academic and industrial team will consider how hybrid hydrogen-electric power generation could be combined with fuel cell technology to lower emissions. The UK project will be led by PEIK faculty, Dr. Jiangbiao He, EE Assistant Professor, and Dr. Dan M. Ionel, EE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, who will serve as PI and co-PI, respectively. (image credit: NASA)