The research objective of this Faculty Early Career (CAREER) award is to develop an effective methodology for the near net shape consolidation and manufacturing of carbon nanotube reinforced bulk nanocomposite parts using plasma spray forming techniques. Experiments will include powder feedstock treatment, optimization of plasma processing variables, interface engineering and innovative substrate cooling for effective consolidation and uniform distribution and retention of carbon nanotube and nanostructure. The underlying scientific phenomenon for the consolidation mechanism will be identified and validated by this approach. Fundamental understanding of the wetting behavior of alloys on carbon nanotube and role of alloying elements in tailoring carbon nanotube/metal interface will be developed. The educational objective of this effort is to enable discovery while promoting teaching and learning, especially among underrepresented groups. This is approached by the development of new curriculum that serves to excite and motivate the students from K-12 to post graduate level, across a broad spectrum of race and gender. The research is integrated into the educational effort through the learning steps model that includes hands on learning efforts, lab-integrated introductory and advanced courses, and interaction with industry and professional societies. If successful, the results of this research will yield a new fundamental understanding of the consolidation mechanism and interfacial phenomenon in carbon nanotube reinforced nanocomposites followed by the manufacturing capability that will lead to a scalable prototype needed for real-life engineering applications. These customized structures will be stronger and lightweight in nature with potential applications such as fuel-efficient automobiles, stronger prosthesis, faster aircrafts, improved sports equipment and protective soldier equipment. The research will have an important impact on the underrepresented student due to demographics of Florida International University, which is a leading Hispanic serving institution and the only university in South Florida that offers graduate degree programs in Materials Science and Engineering. A variety of outreach efforts will attract high school students to join the undergraduate program where they will be given the opportunity to continue to work on research projects until their graduation from the university. The advancement of such students is expected to provide significant contributions to the research community and have a broad societal impact, as they are the future building blocks of the country's education and economy.