Just as NASA research has been responsible for a plethora of products such as smoke detectors, flat panel TVs, fogless ski goggles and freeze-dried foods, aerospace engineering continues to surface in the most surprising areas.
Based at Weber State University in Ogden, the Utah Center for Aeronautical Innovation & Design (UCAID) searches for industry partners to develop research projects with commercial applications. In Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s State of the State address last year, the university was praised for generating more engineering and technology jobs.
“By focusing on workforce needs in this area, we will develop the talent and innovation necessary to become the premier player in the aerospace industry,” Herbert pledged. “As this happens, Utah becomes more than a place companies would like to be, it becomes a place they need to be.”
Located near Hill Air Force Base, which provides the engineering for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile, UCAID plays a significant role in testing new high-grade materials to make military aircraft components more resistant to corrosion and surface cracking.
But the engineering unit was also instrumental in developing the Wasatch Powder Monkey quick-release bicycle roof rack. The Utah company’s “SmartCrossbars” were aerodynamically designed to reduce wind noise and drag on the top of a vehicle, improving gas mileage. Read More