MSE Graduate Student Selected for National Research Council Fellowship

Katherine Acord

Aug. 23, 2021 - UC Irvine materials science and engineering graduate student Katherine Acord has received a postdoctoral fellowship through the National Research Council Research Associateship Program. After graduating with a doctorate in December 2021, Acord will spend a year conducting research at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, where she will investigate the fracture toughness and oxidation resistance of ceramic materials with excellent high-temperature properties for aerospace applications, such as hypersonic vehicles.

“Development of advanced ultra-high temperature ceramic compounds with tailorable mechanical and functional properties would aid industrial development of faster hypersonic vehicles, for space travel or military use, which could significantly reduce costs by decreasing travel time,” said Acord, who hopes to eventually work for the government or a private company and continue developing ceramics for extreme environments within the aerospace industry.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Fellowships Office has conducted the nationally competitive NRC Research Associateship Program in cooperation with sponsoring federal laboratories and research organizations since 1954. Awards are given to outstanding postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers for tenure as guest researchers at participating laboratories. 

“I’m grateful to receive this fellowship, and excited to work at a state-of-the-art research facility with researchers who are making great strides in the development of advanced ceramics for aerospace applications,” said Acord. “I look forward to contributing to this important area of research.”

– Lori Brandt