Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are thought to lie in cold storage within Earth’s permafrost and under its oceans. That gas, however, is trapped within cage-like chemical structures called methane clathrates. Scientists are very interested in these structures, because they may have cousins hidden under the surface of the icy moons in the outer solar system.
Sheng Dai arrived in Atlanta just a week before classes began for the fall 2015 semester, and it was really a homecoming of sorts. Dai is the newest faculty member in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, arriving after two years at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. But before that, he spent half a decade in the School, earning his doctorate in civil engineering. He finished in 2013.