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News Archive 2001 - 2010

UTA to Participate in NASA-funded Research in Bio-Nanotechnology Materials and Structures for Aerospace Vehicles

June 18, 2002

NASA’s Office of Aerospace Technology, in cooperation with the Department of Defense Research and Engineering Office, is taking a major step towards forging a stronger and expanded relationship with academia by establishing seven University Research, Engineering and Technology Institutes (URETI). Texas A&M University in College Station is one of the seven selected and will be assisted by five other universities in Texas, including The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).

UTA researchers will study multifunctional systems at hierarchical nano, micro, and macro length scales. Wiley Kirk, professor of electrical engineering, is a co-principal investigator on the team and is leading UTA’s portion of the project. The other universities in the partnership are Texas A&M, Rice, the University of Houston, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University. “Since electronic devices make up a large part of space vehicles, it is necessary that the bio/nano technologies developed in the proposed institute can be integrated with all electronic materials and devices,” said Kirk. “In particular, we will develop a new method that integrates silicon-based devices, such as bipolar or CMOS, with Group III-V devices for integrated multifunctional intelligent systems.” Kirk’s research is funded at $400,000 for five years.

According to NASA, the primary role of each university-based institute will be to perform research and development that not only increases fundamental understanding of phenomena, but also moves fundamental advances from scientific discovery to basic technology. America's academic community has a legacy of research accomplishments unequaled anywhere else in the world. NASA and the Defense Department have been major sponsors and beneficiaries of this capability through research grants, contracts, cooperative agreements and key university roles in flight research programs.