Spring 2011

Air Force funding lifts research

Assistant Professor Changhong Ke’s work in nanoscience has been recognized by the Air Force, which chose him for its Young Investigator Research Program.

Ke, a professor of mechanical engineering who came to Binghamton in 2007, studies two materials with hollow, tube-like structures. One is made of carbon and the other is made of boron nitride, which is much less common. Several thousand of these nanotubes put together would be thinner than a single strand of hair. Such low-density, high-strength materials could help the Air Force reduce the weight of fighter planes and spacecraft.

Just 43 researchers (about 20 percent of applicants) nationwide are chosen for the intensely competitive program. Grants of $120,000 annually for three years support creative basic research, enhance early career development and increase opportunities for the researchers to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering.