by Gerri Marroquin

The University of West Georgia’s Dr. Benjamin DeMayo, emeritus professor of physics, has received a grant of $9,969 from NASA via the Georgia Space Grant Consortium. This grant will fund DeMayo’s undergraduate research program, which is studying the physical properties of powdered nano-materials, in particular nano diamonds, and NASA’s application of these materials in the space program.

Dr. Benjamin DeMayo hold a UWG gift mug while wearing a blue jacket with a NASA patchThis is DeMayo’s 22nd grant from the Georgia Space Grant Consortium, the first granted to him in 1994 for $10,000. His first grant helped set up a lab to help local industries and allowed him to travel to local schools to show demonstrations.

“This program and all of the research we have conducted wouldn’t be possible without the grants,” DeMayo said. “I would hate to think what would have happened if I wouldn’t have received my first grant so long ago.”

DeMayo and his undergraduate student have been studying nano materials for a year and have made some amazing discoveries. They are studying the electrical resistivity of the nano materials to figure out their physical properties such as their functions and how they react to temperature.

In order to receive this grant, DeMayo had to submit a proposal, which is graded on a set of criteria including the research, budget, and how it will help NASA achieve its goals.

The grant from the Georgia Space Grant Consortium will help pay for the equipment needed for the research but will mainly pay the salary of the undergraduate research students the program hires.

“Our ultimate goal is for the undergraduates to receive research experience so when they apply for and attend graduate school they have an advantage,” DeMayo explained.

Posted on November 22, 2016