Dr. Jadaan Brings NASA and NIH Research to UMU

May 23, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Dr. Osama Jadaan, chair and professor of civil and mechanical engineering at the University of Mount Union, brought a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to the University last year, resulting in the opportunity for students to participate in NASA research.

Jadaan has been working with the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland since 1991 on a design theory based on probabilistic methods for ceramic materials used in dental prostheses. Because ceramic prostheses look natural, are biocompatible and can last 15-20 years, engineers have been working with dentists to design more reliable prostheses. Jadaan is working with Dr. Kenneth Anusavice from the University of Florida on the NIH-sponsored grant.

“This probability-based design method, along with the software developed at NASA, is used in applications involving brittle materials ranging from engine components to microelectronic devices,” Jadaan said. “The beauty in this grant is that we’re using NASA technology toward improving dental prostheses.”

Jadaan plans to use the research as an opportunity for Mount Union engineering students as well.

“I really believe in undergraduate research because it’s a high impact practice,” Jadaan said. “I always look for bright students in my classes to get them involved in my research.”

In the fall, junior mechanical engineering major Glenn Hatala of Atwater, OH will assist Jadaan with this research. Hatala and Jadaan will continue using computer simulations to design prostheses from geometric and material standpoints.

Jadaan’s research is coinciding with clinical studies currently being conducted at the University of Florida. In these studies, researchers are implanting bridges in patients and assessing their reliability.

"We’re expecting to find out that our software predictions correlate well with clinical findings,” Jadaan said. “What this means is that instead of a trial and error approach, you could actually use engineering principles to design reliable dental prostheses that you know would last and perform well for a long time.”

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