Wednesday June 11, 2008 – NASA Glenn Research Center
On Wednesday, June 11, 2008, the 2008 NASA Academy had the privilege to listen to two distinguished speakers as part of the NASA Green Forum. The first speaker was Chief Scientist, Dennis M. Bushnell from the NASA Langley Research Center. The title of his presentation was “Bots, Borgs, and Genetically Modified Humans: The Future of Energetics.” Bushnell’s presentation summed up the serious global problems the world is currently facing, as far as global warming and the limitation in energy and fuel are concerned. Due to its never-ending supply, Bushnell advised the usage of biofuels to make up for the scarcity in petroleum.
The second speaker was Dr. Bilal Mark McDowell Bomar from NASA Glenn Research Center. The title of his talk was “Biofuels As an Alternative Fuel Source for Aviation.” Like Bushnell, Dr. Bomar discussed the fuel shortage and fossil fuel alternatives, specifically, biofuels. He is currently performing research on the in-house expertise of biomass using computer simulation to investigate the water/seawater tolerance of different plant species. Presently, the research is conducted in an indoor biofuel research lab. However, in an effort to expand the small indoor lab, a new outdoor facility, the GreenLab Research Facility, is currently under construction.