Cayman Brac woman inducted into NASA Inventors Hall of Fame | Loop Cayman Islands

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Dr. Martha Kay (Bodden) Williams

Dr. Martha Kay (Bodden) Williams of Cayman Brac has been inducted into the NASA Inventors Hall of Fame.

The NASA Inventors Hall of Fame recognizes civil servant innovators who are making significant contributions to the United States by inventing new technologies. Developed during NASA’s mission work, many of these technologies also benefit us here on Earth in the form of advanced products and services.

Dr. Williams is the sister of Naul Bodden.

She attended Cayman Brac High School and received her Bachelors degree in chemistry and biology at William Carey College, a Masters in chemistry at Northwestern State University and a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from Florida Institute of Technology.

According to NASA, Dr. Martha K. Williams served as a NASA Scientist for over 29 years, retiring in early 2018. Her research involved the development and evaluation of advanced polymeric and composite materials and systems for meeting NASA’s spaceport and exploration technology needs. She served as the lead polymer scientist/principal investigator, and inventor at NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Florida, until January 2018.

Her multiple interdisciplinary research activities included hydrogen sensing technologies, receiving a 2014 R&D100 Top Technology award, a NASA Commercial Invention of the Year award in 2016, and Excellence in Technology Transfer Award in 2017. Williams also led research efforts on low temperature aerogel composites and switchable, adaptive thermal materials for structures and cryogenic storage and transfer. Her twenty published patents also include technologies focused on damage detection and repair technologies, self-healing systems, multiple smart wiring technologies, and fire and polymers.

A well-published author, Williams is an inventor on multiple and very diverse patents/patent applications in hydrogen sensing materials, aerogel composites, thermal insulation materials and thermal management systems, flame retardant additives, wiring detection and repair systems, damage detection systems, microencapsulation and self-healing systems and conductive materials/systems.

From the multiple inventions, her work has resulted in seven active licenses for NASA Kennedy Space Center Technology office, supporting NASA’s important technology transfer mission. Her visionary thinking and creative technical expertise is continued as a founding team member in a start-up GenH2, a liquid hydrogen infrastructure solutions company.

While at NASA, Williams received many awards including the NASA Silver Snoopy Award, NASA Turning Goals into Reality Award, NASA Silver Achievement Medal award, and an Environmental and Energy Program Award.

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