Tuan honored for work on shielding concrete that could boost national security

Civil Engineering

Tiffany Lee, October 19, 2017

Tuan honored for work on shielding concrete that could boost national security

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Christopher Tuan received the 2017 TechConnect Defense Innovation Award at the Defense Innovation Summit, Oct. 3-5 in Tampa, Florida.

Only 15 percent of innovations submitted to the summit were selected for the award, which recognizes innovations with potential to make a positive impact on national security.

Tuan, professor of civil engineering, was honored for developing a shielding concrete that guards against intense pulses of electromagnetic energy, or EMP. These energy bursts can cripple power grids, data centers and electronic equipment critical to national security. Tuan and collaborator Lim Nguyen produced the concrete by using the mineral magnetite in lieu of standard concrete aggregates, enabling absorption and reflection of electromagnetic waves.

Tuan and Nguyen, professor of electrical and computer engineering, worked with NUtech Ventures to obtain patent protection for the technology. NUtech licensed the technology to Omni-Threat Structures, a Florida company that has commercialized a proprietary build method to create pressurized, pneumatically delivered shielding concrete. It is used to construct new buildings or retrofit existing ones to protect against high altitude electro-magnetic pulse (HEMP), intentional electro-magnetic interference (IEMS), as well as blast, ballistic and extreme weather events.

For licensing inquiries, contact Mauricio Suarez, NUtech director of licensing.

Awards Civil Engineering Engineering