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Igor Sevostianov's expertise on the structure of bone is rewarded with a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship

Igor Sevostianov

Igor Sevostianov, NMSU mechanical engineering professor, owes his research focus to a trip to a space museum with his son. Intrigued to learn that space travel effected the human skeleton, the youngster chose that topic for a science fair project. Sevostianov found himself caught up in his son's enthusiasm for this phenomenon, a research interest that was first sponsored by New Mexico Space Grant Consortium and now has resulted in his selection as a Fulbright Fellow. He is currently teaching and conducting research on the structure of bone at The Vienna University of Technology in Vienna, Austria.

Sevostianov's research has important implications for the development of improved materials for surgical bone implants, as well as new materials for the aerospace and automotive industries and other fields.

"Bone structure changes under the microgravity conditions experienced during long stays in space and this will likely become more of a concern as researchers and mission specialists spend extended time in the space station," he notes.

Sevostianov's research also has medical applications.

Current tests, such as bone density scans, are too general, Sevostianov notes. These tests can detect mineral density in bone, but not changes in shapes of the bone material, such as microcracks, which will change its behavior.

While in Austria, he plans to investigate the possibility of developing dual graduate programs between The Vienna University of Technology and NMSU.

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