Mechanical engineering doctoral student wins award for cellulose nanopaper research

Published: Jan 18, 2024 12:00 PM

By Jeremy Henderson

Mechanical engineering doctoral Azeez Adekunle Adebayo recently received the Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP) award through the Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR), a consortium of the state's eight Ph.D. granting institutions, the Alabama Department of Commerce, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and business leaders.

Designed "to increase the pool of highly trained graduates available to Alabama industries," the GRSP supports graduate students conducting "high-tech federal EPSCoR research."

Titled "Unveiling the Remarkable Tensile and Fracture Characteristics of Fibrous Cellulose," Adebayo's research proposal focuses on developing methods for implementing cellulose nanopaper in applications critical in the automotive and aerospace industries in which lightweight and robust materials are essential.

Adebayo says that in many of those applications, cellulose nanopaper outperforms common plastics and glass.  

"Part of the success of this investigation rests on analyzing the mechanical behavior of cellulose nanopaper with an ultra-high-speed camera capable of capturing images at several million frames per second," he said. "This study aims to gain new insights into enhancing the mechanical performance of the paper and establishing predictive models for its notable structural behavior and ability to withstand crack propagation."

Adebayo believes that investigating the renewability of cellulose nanopaper has the potential to dramatically lower the country’s plastic consumption, a goal outlined in the United Nations Environment Assembly’s National Recycling Strategy.

"Ultimately," he said, "this research holds the potential to benefit society by offering a sustainable and high-performance alternative to conventional materials like plastics."

Adebayo is advised by McWane Endowed Chair Professor Hareesh Tippur.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
Azeez Adekunle Adebayo

Azeez Adekunle Adebayo

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