Duo Xu is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on the development of multifunctional, composite materials for space applications. Specifically, he seeks to create materials that meet the performance requirements of this extreme environment, including shielding from ionizing radiation, thermal and mechanical stability under extreme vibrations, and large temperature swings. With the support of a MathWorks Fellowship he will advance on-going research to innovate new materials with the required properties, and fabricate them via additive manufacturing techniques. MathWorks tools support many aspects of this work, including his construction of a computational model to optimize material properties and predict device performance under realistic conditions. Duo’s research has the potential to further critical new technologies for spaceflight and yield valuable open-source tools to model light-matter interactions and heat transport through materials in space conditions. His cutting-edge work has great prospective benefits to industry, the research community, and human space exploration.