Space Elevator Conference All-Star lineup!

In keeping with the International Space Elevator Consortium’s (ISEC) theme of “Longer, stronger tethers – 30MYuri or Bust!“, the Space Elevator Conference has assembled an all-star lineup for its Friday, August 12th program.  This day of the program is dedicated to stronger tethers and the Guest speakers that have been assembled are simply awesome.

From the University of Cincinnati, home of one of the foremost Carbon Nanotube (CNT) labs in the world, the Space Elevator Conference welcomes Dr. Vesselin Shanov.  From Dr. Shanov’s biography:

Dr.Vesselin Shanov is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He received his MS in Electronic Materials from the Technological University of Sofia, Bulgaria in 1970. In 1980, he completed his PhD in Solid State Chemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany and at the Technological University of Sofia, Bulgaria.

Dr. Shanov has received several prestigious awards, including the Fulbright Award for Research and Teaching in USA, German Academic Foundation (DAAD) Grants, and the Bulgarian Patent Office Award for Distinguished Patent. He is a member of the Materials Research Society and former President of the Bulgarian Fulbright Alumni Association. Dr. Shanov`s recent breakthrough achievement, accomplished with the help of Dr. Schulz of University of Cincinnati, in growing the longest carbon nanotube arrays has attracted the attention of the scientific community.  NSF Special Press Release on this topic.

Dr. Shanov has published 145 papers, 14 patents, 3 books, and has been part of 40 funded proposals including many with NSF, the US NAVY, the US Air Force, and industries. He was selected a “Distinguished Professor” at the Department of CME for the 2006/2007 academic year.

Dr. Shanov co-directs the UC Nanoworld with Dr. Mark Schulz.Nanoworld is a large interdisciplinary teaching and research laboratory located in the College of Engineering.  It has unique facilities enabling synthesis, processing, and device fabrication based on nanostructured materials. Nanoworld carries an important mission helping to recruit, excite, and retain the undergraduate students at the UC College of Engineering.

Also from the University of Cincinnati and presenting at the conference is Mr. Mark Haase, a PhD student at the University.

And the Space Elevator Conference is very pleased to announce that Dr. Boris Yakobson from Rice University will also be attending the conference and presenting a paper on CNT strength.  From Dr. Yakobson’s biography:

Dr. Yakobson received his PhD from the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1982.  He is currently the Karl F. Hasselmann Chair in Engineering, a Professor of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering and a Professor of Chemistry at Rice University.

Professor Yakobson’s research interests are in theory and modeling of structure, kinetics, and properties of materials, derived from both macroscopic and fundamental molecular interactions. Computational methods and simulation are used to visualize and enhance the understanding of underlying physics and to identify the efficient degrees of freedom in complex systems, especially in connecting different length scales of description. He is an editorial board member of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research and a member of the American Physical Society and the Electrochemical Society.

Also presenting from Rice University is Dr.  Vasilii Artyukhov.

Additional speakers are scheduled for that day including Mr. Karen Ghazaryan, one of last year’s Honorable Mentions for the Artsutanov prize and Dr. Bryan Laubscher.  And, also on Friday is the NASA/Spaceward Strong Tether Challenge – with a prize purse of $2Million!

More details about the Space Elevator Conference can be found on the Conference website, including details for the presentations on Saturday and Sunday (August 13th and 14th).  And, until July 10th, you can reserve a place at the conference at the “Early Bird” special rate, a substantial discount off of the full rate.  But you have to hurry – the 10th is the absolute deadline for this.  After the 10th, you will need to pay the full conference fee.

This is high-powered stuff folks!  To my knowledge, this first day of the Space Elevator Conference is the first time, anywhere in the world, that a portion of a conference has been dedicated solely and only to the strength properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs).  Without a strong enough material, the entire idea of a Space Elevator is just an intellectual exercise, so we hope this will be the first in a succession of such gatherings.

I would be remiss in not mentioning that the speakers from the University of Cincinnati and Rice University are attending the conference through the courtesy of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC).  This is just another way in which we are working to make this dream a reality and shows you what your membership dollars go for.

Only 36 days to go – I hope to see you all at the Conference!

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