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Kenneth C. Cheung
February 10, 2015

Dr. Kenny Cheung is a member of the Ames Center Chief Technologist (CCT) staff, and he helps to identify, define, develop and integrate new and emerging technologies for application to Agency and national goals through the NASA Space Technology Program (STP). Kenny reports to Center Chief Technologist and serves as an advisor on matters concerning rapid prototyping processes and materials.


Kenny continues to conduct research at the intersection of design, mechanical engineering, and material science. His current laboratory work focuses on applying building-block based (digital) materials and algorithms to aeronautical and space applications. He's particularly fond of applying rapid prototyping to test ideas that can change the status quo in design, based on physical first-principles analyses.

Before joining NASA, Kenny received his Ph.D. from the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he showed that digital material strategies can be used to make new kinds of materials (strong and light weight), and new kinds of robots (like transformers). His M.S. work at the MIT Media Lab was on anonymized empirical models of human behavior using mobile devices, and prior work includes research on natural mechanical systems (plant biomechanics) and the science of the human environmental response (environmental psychology). Kenny has numerous papers and patents on topics ranging from high performance composite material manufacturing systems to synthetic protein folding algorithms, surgical devices, and indoor mobile device location systems.

Kenny has also been a part of the fab lab network for many years; fab labs are a global grassroots community-driven technology education effort that is based on the notion that anyone, anywhere (regardless of prior education) has the ability to design and produce their own technological solutions. He has taught others to install and tune rapid prototyping equipment in labs on almost every continent, and given workshops on community wireless networking (internet across borders), rapid prototyping machines that make rapid prototyping machines, environmentally friendly fiber composite materials, and CNC boat, bicycle, and furniture design.

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Kenny Cheung
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Page Last Updated: February 10th, 2015
Page Editor: Elizabeth Mabrouk