As many times as Hadi Ghasemi thought about wood frogs, a cold, hard fact seemed to hop out at him: They can tolerate freezing of more than half their body’s fluids and still survive, even in the winter. So the Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering set about mimicking the resilient amphibian and built a new biologically-inspired anti-icing material than can withstand critically low temperatures.
And NASA noticed, choosing his technology as one of three winners of the NASA iTech, a year-long initiative to find innovative ideas with the most potential impact on future space exploration. Ghasemi's anti-freezing surface was chosen among entries from more than 130 organizations across the U.S. for its potential to broadly impact human life on earth and the future of space travel.
After two cycles of entrepreneurs presenting their solutions to current technology challenges, the top three teams were selected by judges consisting of NASA’s chief technologists, space industry leaders and potential investors. Ghasemi's invention won in the category of "X-factor Innovations," which focuses on innovative solutions to problems that weren't specifically identified by the NASA iTech competition organizers but demonstrate a strong potential to solve a critical need for NASA.
“It is a an honor to launch our journey with NASA on implementation of this technology in the aerospace industry, power transmission systems, and ground and offshore infrastructures. I should acknowledge the dedication and hard work of my Ph.D. student, Peyman Irajizad, in development of this disruptive technology,” said Ghasemi.
Read the full press release on the NASA iTech Cycle 2 winners here: https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/feature/nasa-selects-top-three-itech-innovators-for-continued-collaboration
Watch a video with the NASA iTech competition winners at https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158965047170285&id=33527980284