NGA Board Member Spotlight: Ahmed Al-Ostaz

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In his research, Dr. Ahmed Al-Ostaz is interested in studying the fundamental physical, chemical and mechanical properties that control the damage mechanisms, at multi time and spatial scales. He focuses on bridging the gap between molecular/microscopic, micromechanics, and macroscopic scales of various materials ranging from nano structure to infrastructure using analytical, numerical and experimental approaches. Examples of his research work include: investigating the size effect of shot particles in metal-matrix composites, Analysis of transversely isotropic hyperelastic biphasic cartilage under indentation load; Evaluating the durability of polymeric composite materials for infrastructure applications; identification of interfacial mechanical properties in composites and correlating the analytical results to the experimental ones obtained by the Micro Indentation Test (ITS); studying damage mechanisms in composite materials using numerical, analytical and experimental techniques; using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy as an NDE technique to detect damage in repaired concrete structures with FRP; evaluating electro-mechanical properties of nano-structured materials and their applications; modeling engineering materials from atomic level to macro level and Using nano-structured materials for Infrastructure applications.

During the last 5 years, Dr. Al-Ostaz focused his research activities on advanced materials by design. He is a founding member of the Nano Engineering Research Group (NIRG) which was formed to stimulate and conduct organized research in the area of advanced materials. During the last five years, NIRG successfully secured more than $9M of research funds and made notable contributions in the field. This helped bring into focus the nano engineering and related research at the University of Mississippi and in the State of Mississippi. During this time, Al-Ostaz published more than fifty journal papers, supervised five post doctoral students, and more than 15 graduate students (mainly Ph.D.’s who secured faculty positions in leading universities in the United States and abroad). He has been actively involved in steering committees for the Department of Homeland Security and has been invited to many national meetings. He has been the Principal Investigator and CoPI of more than 15 research projects funded by: Homeland Security (DHS), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Air Force Lab (AFL), Michigan Department of Transportation, Mississippi Department of Transportation, General Motors Company, Research of Excellence Funds (State of Michigan) and NSF-SBIR program.

Dr. Al-Ostaz was selected by faculty, students and the engineering alumni of the School of Engineering as the Outstanding Engineering Faculty Member of the Year during the 2005-2006 and 2012-2013 academic years. Dr. Al-Ostaz also serves as Brevard Family Chair in Civil Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering.

As one of the nation’s most distinguished graphene scientists, Dr. Al-Ostaz was named the first Director of The University of Mississippi Center for Graphene Research and Innovation. Dr. Al-Ostaz has worked diligently to make the new Center a reality while supporting the formation of National Graphene Association based in Oxford. Dr. Al-Ostaz is a charter member of the NGA’s Advisory Board.

The Ole Miss Center will play a key role in the commercialization of graphene, an exciting new “disruptive technology” that is expected to play a major role in the nation’s future. University of Mississippi Chancellor, Jeffery Vitter, who also serves on the NGA Advisory Board, established the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation in Fall 2016.

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