Glenn Research Center Featured Innovators

Dr. Othmane Benafan
Dr. Othmane Benafan, Materials Research Engineer, Glenn Research Center
Othmane Benafan received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2012. Currently, he is a materials researcher in the High Temperature and Smart Alloys Branch of the Materials and Structures Division at NASA Glenn. Dr. Benafan is the team lead responsible for developing new classes of shape memory alloys. His research has focused on expanding the alloy temperature capability and improving long-term reliability needed for their use in aerospace systems. His work involves both fundamental research and prototyping of new lightweight actuation concepts and mechanical components.
Read more about Dr. Othmane Benafan

Dr. Santo Padula II
Dr. Santo A. Padula, II, Ph.D., Materials Research Engineer,Glenn Research Center
Dr. Santo Padula II received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Michigan Technological University and has worked full-time at the NASA Glenn Research Center for 15 years. Dr. Padula has focused his career on developing test techniques to support advanced material development. He has conducted research activities in a broad range of areas including fatigue of superalloys, impact behavior of lattice block structures, and metallic foam concepts and mechanical response of high temperature shape memory alloys and devices. His forte has been on incorporating novel measurement techniques to permit the determination of data under complicated thermomechanical loading conditions. His advancements in this area have contributed to the development of one-of-a-kind constitutive models for new materials with unusual behaviors.
Read more about Dr. Santo Padula, II

Dr. Maricela Lizcano
Dr. Maricela Lizcano, Materials Research Engineer
My name is Maricela Lizcano. I am a Research Materials Engineer in the Materials Chemistry and Physics Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH. I came to work for NASA after completing my PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University in August 2011. I fell in love with materials research while working on my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. My work currently supports NASA’s Transformational Tools and Technology Project under the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program (TACP).
Read more about Dr. Lizcano

Mary Ann Meador
Dr. Mary Ann Meador, Senior Research Scientist
Mary Ann Meador is a senior scientist in the Materials Chemistry and Physics Branch of the Materials and Structures Division at NASA Glenn. She is an associate editor for ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces and was recently appointed as Adjunct Professor of Polymer Engineering at the University of Akron. Dr. Meador guides projects that will synthesize new types of aerogels. Her research has focused on the design and development of new polymers for a variety of applications, including high-temperature composites.
Read more about Dr. Meador