UV/EB Student Technology Award PDF Print E-mail



Reducing curing time of Kevlar® composites from 24-48 hours to just two minutes. When Mississippi high school senior De’Andre Stafford-May was paired with professors and graduate students from the Polymer Science Research department at the University of Southern Mississippi. The results of the apprenticeship turned out to be quite remarkable.

De’Andre Stafford-May’s interest in Kevlar®, combined with the expertise of polymer science professors Dr. James W. Rawlins and Dr. Sergei Nazarenko and Ph.D. candidates Joshua Hanna and James Goetz, resulted in an exciting and possibly commercially significant development whereby the curing time of Kevlar® composites was reduced from 24-48 hours to just two minutes by using ultraviolet light. The development might one day lead to a less expensive, more rapid way of developing Kevlar® composites for military and commercial uses.
De’Andre Stafford-May has been working after school in Nazarenko’s Research Lab in Southern Mississippi’s internationally Top-5 ranked polymer science department thanks to the support from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) Envoy program.
The project won first place overall at the Region 1 Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair as well as first prize in chemistry in the Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Accomplishment.

Photo: University of Southern Missisippi Ph.D. candidates James Goetz and Joshua Hanna pictured with UV/EB Student Award Winner De'Andre Stafford-May.  Making the presentation are David Harbourne Fusion UV and RadTech President, Howard Ragin of DSM-AGI.