Our Mission

"Ounces are Pounds, and Pounds are Pain."

This saying is very relevant within the military because military personnel must traverse in many different harsh terrains while carrying huge loads of weight from their armors and supplies. Current military body armor is very heavy, hot, and hard to move in, which makes wearing armor a very tiring ordeal that thoroughly taxes the body after constant wear. Troops prefer to have armors that have less protection but lighter weight because even just a little bit less weight makes a big difference when worn for an extended period of time. Our team aims to optimize military-grade body armor by reducing the weight of already existing armor systems without sacrificing protection through ceramics research and development.


Our Product

Wurtzite Boron Nitride

Our team of engineers are developing a ceramic from a variation of boron nitride that is harder yet lighter than the current top ceramics. Wurtzite boron nitride is known to have a hardness that exceeds diamond but maintains the light-weight characteristic of nitride ceramics. This ceramic material will enhance the protection of body armors while addressing the weight problem that has limited the comfortability of our soldiers.

Market Strategy

Our market strategy is focused on optimizing our solution of developing a lighter and more durable ceramic that can withstand multiple rounds and protect lives. In recent years, modernization programs have been introduced due to increasing concerns for national defense and security. With these programs come a bigger need for military protections. The Global Body Armor Plates market is expected to reach $2.5B USD by 2027. We hope to take advantage of this opportunity to drive our product into market as the need for body armor increases. Our primary target market is the United States Department of Defense. Our secondary target market is the NATO countries, where we will be needing declassification approval before we can begin selling to them.


Within the growing global body armor market, the ceramic armor industry is also growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1% with the biggest competition in aerospace and defense industry companies such as Point Blank Enterprises, SafariLand and DuPont USA. Breaking down the ceramic armor market by material type, the most popular ceramics are alumina, boron carbide, silicon carbide, ceramic matrix composites, and others. In 2019, alumina accounted for more than 35% of the market share with the highest expected future growth to be in silicon carbide due to its high strength and hardness. Through our team’s collaboration with Avon Protection, our wurtzite boron nitride research and development may upset the expected growth of silicon carbide if our expectations are successfully fulfilled through access to necessary resources, careful optimization of the manufacturing process and iterative testing of excellent results on large scale.

Meet the Team

Emily Hoang
Designer/Impact Testing

Emily is a fourth year biomedical engineering major with a specialization in biophotonics, as well as a minor in material science. During quarantine, she learned how to build her first PC and began making kombucha.

Email: hoangeh@uci.edu

Albert Hong
Manufacturer/Ceramic Sintering

Albert is a fourth year biomedical engineering major at UCI. He is also specicalizing in nano and microdevices. In his free time some of his hobbies include going to the gym and discovering new types of music.

Email: hongah@uci.edu

Khoa Huynh
Buisness Advisor/Hardness Testing

Khoa is a fourth year biomedicial engineering major at UCI. Some fun facts about him is that he will probably like anything choclate flavored and can crack his big toe continuously.

Email: khoaah@uci.edu

Justin Le
Marketing Advisor/Material Analysis

Justin is a fourth year biomedical engineering student at UCI. Some of his hobbies include playing basketball and hiking.

Email: lej22@uci.edu

Keith Tran
Team Lead

Keith is a fourth year biomedical engineering major, specializing in biophotonics, with a minor in material science. Keith started his own vintage clothing buisness and enjoys hiking at national parks.

Email: keitht1@uci.edu

Team Mentor:
Prof. Chris Hoo

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