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November 21, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Two Knoxville research projects recognized at “TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo”

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

The “TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo,” held in Washington, D.C. last month, recognized two Knoxville research projects for its annual “Innovation Award.”

The two projects had ties to the “Innovation Crossroads” program and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). SkyNano, an alum of the first cohort of “Innovation Crossroads,” received an “Innovation Award” for its research in hyper copper-coated carbon nanotube structures for multifunctional coatings. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), received an award for research into low cost carbon applications for lightweight applications.

The latter project was led by Uday Vaidya and Dayakar Penumadu from UTK, along with a researcher from ORNL in the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) and Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTF). Hicham Ghossein, an alum of Cohort 3 of “Innovation Crossroads,” worked with the team as well as part of his research for the program in founding his company, Endeavor Composites Inc. Endeavor builds non-woven mats out of low-cost carbon fiber produced at the CFTF. The UTK and MDF teams then use those mats to build composites, Ghossein said.

“It is a great privilege to be part of this ORNL-UTK-Industry ecosystem,” he said. “Our involvement with the facilities on the main campus, MDF and CFTF via the ‘Innovation Crossroads’ program, and UTK facilities such as (Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility) via UTK, (University of Tennessee Research Foundation, and Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation) collaboration have made this award possible to stand out and to be selected as one on the most innovative state-of-the-art technologies for this year.”

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