Dr. William Kaukler

Research Engineer / Scientist, RSESC


301 Sparkman Drive
Von Braun Research Hall
Room D9
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Dr. Kaukler has been a part of UAH for 30 years. All his degrees are in Materials Science from the University of Toronto and he has taught materials science and engineering at both graduate and undergraduate levels at UAH for the College of Engineering and the UAH Materials Science Ph.D. Program. Memberships in ASM, TMS-AIME, SPIE and ACS.

Dr. Kaukler is an experimental materials scientist who performs basic and applied academic research in aerospace engineering with focus on NASA’s interests: microgravity materials science, rocket nozzle materials, aerospace composites, thermal protection materials, and in-situ resource utilization (getting things from planets). In his 33 year career he has been a NASA contractor at NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center working highly diverse topics including: cryo-composite fuel tank material development, rocket nozzle fiber fabrication, Shuttle External Tank foam loss investigation for Columbia Accident Investigation, team member Shuttle Leading Edge On-orbit Repair development at MSFC, directly observing metal solidification by using an x-ray microscope, extracting water from the Moon using microwaves and laser welding in space. His proficiency is across all fields of materials science with major expertise in metals, ceramics, glasses, and structural polymers. He is forever a student with over 35 years of experience developing various diagnostic and measurement techniques for in-situ, real-time studies during unidirectional solidification of polyphase and single-phase alloys. Another specialty is as expert in microscopy (all forms including optical, electron microscopy, X-ray microscopy), microstructure analysis, and fracture analysis, NDT radiography and dye penetrant.

Research Funding

  • UAH Charger Innovation Funds Project, Quiet Lawn Mower Blade Development
  • NASA, MSFC Technology Investment Program Project to develop Advanced Ionic Liquid Epoxy for Composite Cryo-fuel Tanks
  • Co-PI with Chris Sautter, Research Institute, UAH, for Ionic Liquid Process for Carbon Fiber Manufacture, green process to make carbon fiber for rocket nozzles; AMRDEC funding
  • Co-I with Wayne Thompson in RSESC, UAH: University Research Infrastructure Investment Program funding, Biomimicry for Aerodynamic Structures


  • Parallel Plate System for Collecting Data to Determine Viscosity United States Patent 8490470 B1 Issued July 23, 2013
  • System of extraction of volatiles from soil using microwave processes United States Patent 8357884 B1 Issued January 22, 2013
  • Method for investigating the formation of crystals in a transparent material United States Patent 4711697 Issued December 8, 1987

Recent Publications

  • "Low-Thermal Conductivity Carbon Fiber"; Prof. William Kaukler in Advanced Materials for Exploration Task Research Results, M. B. Cook Editor, NASA/TM—2008–215465, pgs. 140-165, July 2008. First printed July 2010 to CD

  • "Electronically Biased Thermal Protection System"; William Kaukler and Palmer Peters in Advanced Materials for Exploration Task Research Results, M. B. Cook Editor, NASA/TM—2008–215465, pgs. 166-199, July 2008. First printed July 2010 to CD.

  • "Modeling of the Fluid Merging Viscosity Measurement COMSOL MultiPhysics"; Ethridge, Edwin, Kaukler, William, Antar, Basil; in 47 AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Jan 5-8, 2009, paper 2009-1151 pgs. 1-7

  • "Extraction of Water from Polar Lunar Permafrost with Microwaves - Dielectric Property Measurements"; Edwin C. Ethridge, William Kaukler; 47 AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Jan 5-8, 2009, paper 2009-1342 pgs. 1-11.

  • "Microwave Extraction of Lunar Water for Rocket Fuel"; Ethridge, Edwin C.; Donahue, Benjamin; Kaukler, William, 2008 National Space and Missile Materials Symposium, 23-27 Jun. 2008, Henderson, NV, United States.

  • "Microwave Extraction of Water from Lunar Regolith Simulant"; Edwin Ethridge, NASA-MSFC-EM40, Huntsville, AL USA and William Kaukler, Department of Chemistry, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL USA presented at Space Technology & Applications International Forum (STAIF-2008) February 10-14, 2008