LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico State University associate professor has been awarded an almost $6 million grant by NASA. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Liang Sun will use the money to solve key issues facing the future of air travel.

An NMSU press release states the grant is part of an initiative that provides the academic community a chance to support NASA aeronautical research and give students an opportunity to learn from real-world challenges. “I am honored to receive this grant and excited about the opportunities it presents for advancing the field of aviation,” Sun said. “Our team is eager to get to work and tackle the challenges ahead.”

A team of researchers from George Washington University, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Argonne National Laboratory, and Whisper Aero will be led by Sun.

The NASA University Leadership Initiative is a program that funds cutting-edge research in areas of national importance. The program is designed to encompass a broad range of technologies to meet the future needs of the aviation community.