May 24, 2023 | Jim Steele engineering cspar space science UAH’s Dr. Gary Zank was interviewed by Carter Wells, vice president of economic development at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, about the statewide, UAH-led Future Technologies & enabling Plasma Processes (FTPP) project for episode 7 of a HudsonAlpha podcast called From Idea to Action: Stories from Alabama Innovators In addition to being the principal investigator for FTPP, Dr. Zank is the Aeroject Rocketdyne chair of the UAH Department of Space Science and the director of UAH’s Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research. FTPP is a five-year, $20 million springboard to propel cutting-edge university plasma physics research and technologies into practical business applications that’s funded by the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Plasma is a state of matter consisting of a collection of ionized particles, electrically neutral atoms and molecules that makes up more than 90% of the observable universe and underpins several high-tech manufacturing industries. FTPP aims to transition plasma research into agricultural, manufacturing, space science, space weather prediction and other applications, establishing Alabama as a Southeastern regional hub for plasma science expertise and creating thousands of high-paying technical careers in the state and region. The HudsonAlpha podcast highlights the deep network of innovators, entrepreneurs, policy leaders and advocates working to make Alabama an even better place.