Ismaila Dabo photo

Powerful Energy

Originally from Paris, France, Ismaila Dabo has family roots in Guinea, a West African nation blessed with abundant sunshine to match the sunny optimism of its people. But despite these powerful sources of energy, there is a lack of electricity to power the country. 

“People there do not have the basic items that many of us take for granted here,” says Dabo, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering. 

“Many students, for example, can’t study at home at night. You will see them studying at the airport, one of the few places equipped with electric lights.”

Engineering professors receive Air Force grant to develop new energy materials

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two Penn State engineering professors, Seong Kim, professor of chemical engineering and materials science and engineering, and Zoubeida Ounaies, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a $695,000 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to develop a new class of low-density energy materials.

The grant will support the investigation of nanocellulose, a crystalline solid substance obtained from plant matter, and its ability to produce electric energy when subjected to mechanical stress.