Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Beating the Heat


A team of FAMU-FSU College of Engineering researchers at the High-Performance Materials Institute in Tallahassee has conducted experiments that prove a compound of boron nanotubes can withstand temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The discovery has applications in everything from heat shields in space to medical delivery systems and specialized circuit boards.

The boron nitride compounds, also known as BNNTs, can insulate layers on circuit boards for efficient heat dissipation in electronics.

“In deep space, in a radiation-rich environment such as a spacecraft during re-entry, BNNTs can withstand a lot of heat and radiation,” says researcher Rebekah Sweat, assistant professor at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. “They are lightweight, making them suited for space vehicles or hypersonics in harsh environments.”

Sweat worked on the research with lead author Mehul Tank and several engineering graduate students, as well as with scientists from the BNNT institute on the study.

The research team says there are numerous potential applications for BNNT composites. Anything that gets hot, like a turbine or engine, says Tank, could use BNNTs to reinforce various parts of high energy/ high heat equipment and disperse high heat quickly.

“BNNTs are a robust reinforcement material, and now we can provide quantitative temperature guidelines for these manufacturing processes,” says Sweat.


  • Amazon cited supply-chain issues for delaying its announcement of the opening of its $200-million, 635,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Tallahassee. Located near I-10, the center is expected to create 1,000 jobs.


  • After eight years as president of Eastern Shipbuilding, Joey D'Isernia has been named CEO and chairman of the Panama City-based company’s board. D’Isernia, 41, takes over the chairmanship from his father, Brian D'Isernia who founded the company and recently retired as CEO and chairman after 46 years in the position.


  • Duke Energy Florida has begun construction of two solar facilities, one in Bay County and the second in Madison County. In Bay County, the company’s Mule Creek Renewable Energy Center will consist of 175,000 solar panels. In Madison County, the Winquepin Renewable Energy Center will contain 220,000 solar panels. At peak power, each site will produce enough renewable energy to power 23,000 homes. Both projects are expected to be operational by spring 2024.


  • Minto Communities and St. Joe Co. recently sold its 1,000th home at Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, north of Panama City Beach. The company’s plans call for some 3,500 homes to be built there.


  • Marc Julius, a Florida State University alum and health care consultant who died this year, left $10 million to support women majoring in STEM fields at FSU. Julius graduated from FSU in 1963 and earned graduate degrees in biochemistry from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


  • JetBlue plans to offer nonstop service between Tallahassee International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport starting in January 2024.


  • Travel services company Tripadvisor has ranked three beaches in Northwest Florida among its top 25 in the U.S. Henderson Beach in Destin is ranked at No. 6; Panama City Beach at No. 18; and Pensacola Beach No. 20.


  • Santa Rosa County officials are proceeding with a plan that would expand the county’s industrial park by more than 640 acres.