University of Alabama in Huntsville’s $20M plasma science partnership

University Of Alabama In Huntsville
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH / Facebook)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is set to lead a $20M, five-year partnership with nine Alabama universities and one private firm to develop transformative technologies in plasma science and engineering. We’ve got the details.

Future Technologies enabled by Plasma Processes

University Of Alabama In Huntsville
Meet Dr. Gary Zank, the Principal Investigator for FTPP. (Michael Mercier / UAH)

If you didn’t know, plasma is the most abundant form of matter in the observable universe. This UAH-led initiative, Future Technologies enabled by Plasma Processes (FTPP), has a goal of developing new technologies using plasma in several ways including:

  • Hard & soft biomaterials
  • Food safety
  • Sterilization
  • Space weather prediction

It will also build Alabama’s capacity in plasma and science engineering (PSE) research, supporting the workforce and making the state a world-renowned hub for PSE.

“The funding is the result of a team effort from the co-investigators in assembling the group, who generated the concepts and ideas underlying the proposal and executed the plan by writing a successful proposal.”

Dr. Gary Zank, Principal Investigator, FTPP

FTPP will exploit low-temperature plasma (LTP) physics to develop technologies for advanced materials, agriculture, food safety and health-related applications. It will use space plasma physics to develop actionable space weather forecasting and nowcasting models to mitigate potentially damaging effects on spacecraft, humans and infrastructure.

The future of plasma science and engineering

What are your thoughts on this new initiative? (ThisisEngineering RAEng)

Throughout the start of this partnership, Dr. Zank says that the Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) committee was instrumental in guiding and helping the alliance develop the proposal. He also praised contributions from our Alabama members of the United States Senate including:

  • Sen. Richard Shelby
  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville
  • Former Sen. Doug Jones

Sen. Shelby and Sen. Tuberville shared their praises about the alliance and what it’ll do for the state. Check out what they had to say:

“This grant will allow for ground-breaking plasma research to occur, accelerating new technologies for a variety of applications and will further solidify Alabama as a leader in this field. I look forward to seeing the impact that this five-year initiative will have on the future utility of plasma science and engineering.”

Richard Shelby, Senator, State of Alabama

“Our state is home to many talented researchers and developers, and this funding will go a long way in making Alabama a leading pioneer in PSE research and stimulating meaningful advancements in plasma technologies.”

Tommy Tuberville, Senator, State of Alabama

The partnership

FTPP partners include:

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • University of Alabama – led by Dr. R. Branam
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham – led by Dr. Y. Vohra
  • Auburn University – led by Dr. E. Thomas
  • Tuskegee University – led by Dr. V. Rangari
  • University of South Alabama – led by Dr. E Spencer
  • Alabama State University – Dr. K. Vig
  • Alabama A&M University – led by Dr. R Mentreddy
  • Oakwood University – led by Dr. A. Volkov
  • CFD Research Corporation – led by Dr. V. Kolobov

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Tira Davis
Tira Davis
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