Lanagan receives Air Force Fellowship

By Emily Gallagher
April 25, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Michael Lanagan, professor of engineering science and mechanics and associate director of the Center for Dielectric Studies in the Materials Research Institute, has been selected to participate in the U.S. Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (AF SFFP).

The program offers hands-on exposure to Air Force research challenges through eight- to 12-week residencies at participating Air Force research facilities for full-time science, mathematics and engineering faculty at U.S. colleges and universities.

Lanagan will be working on a proposal titled, "Microwave Characterization of High Energy and Nonlinear Dielectrics," at the Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Susan Heidger, a senior research physicist at the base.

High energy and tunable dielectrics are critical for Department of Defense pulse power and power distribution systems so that these systems can support high voltages and power. Lanagan said, "The goal of this SFFP effort is to develop a fundamental understanding of dielectric performance under high-power microwave conditions."

High power material properties are of interest for a wide range of applications, such as power modules for aircraft and hybrid electric vehicles and wireless communications devices, and there are fundamental materials phenomena at high temperature and high electric field that have yet to be explored.

Lanagan and Heidger will collaborate with the High Performance Compact Pulsed Power Components Group at Kirtland to establish the scientific and engineering materials foundations to create pulse power components with high energy densities, high tenability, fast response times, and reliable operation under extreme environments.

The AF SFFP also allows faculty members to select one graduate student to assist with their research. Matthew Pyrz, a first-year engineering science and mechanics graduate student, will be joining the project and will focus on new high-energy materials during the summer at Kirtland.

Lanagan is looking forward to building a partnership between the Kirtland Air Force Base and Penn State. He said, "One long-term programmatic goal from this SFFP-sponsored fellowship would be to establish a collaboration and research program with Kirtland so that graduate students would regularly spend time at the Air Force Research Laboratory facility."

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 23, 2015