DR. LANDON GRACE, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University, has received the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program award. Known as the NSF CAREER Award, it is one of the most prestigious awards for early-career researchers.
NSF will provide $500,000 for a project to improve the safety and performance of polymer composites by discovering the fundamental mechanisms governing the evolution of damage in these next-generation materials.
Grace’s research will be complemented by an effort to provide access to K-12 summer engineering camp activities at North Carolina State University for students from rural and isolated urban communities. A sustainable process for packaging and disseminating these high-value educational resources will be developed and implemented, expanding their impact beyond the students attending the on-site camps and increasing visibility and knowledge of engineering among students who may not otherwise consider or pursue STEM careers.
The overarching goal of the research is to derive the mechanistic underpinnings of polymer composite damage progression across spatial scales in response to coupled thermal, hygroscopic, and mechanical loading.