Dr. Walter Nichols (also known as Marcus Nichols or Brandon Nichols) was a male human materials science reseacher in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He was the inventor (on Earth) of transparent aluminum and a number of other innovations.
Nichols left academia in the early 1980s for the private-sector developer Plexicorp in San Francisco, but grew dissatisfied with the management whom he felt did not use him to the best of his abilities - for instance, using a man with his research qualifications as a plant manager of Plexicorp's Burlingame Industrial Park facility. (TOS novelization: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In the year 1986, Montgomery Scott, and Leonard McCoy visited the plant - hoping to find material to enclose a tank on board the HMS Bounty. Playing the role of a visiting professor, Scott gave Nichols the formula for transparent aluminum in exchange for the materials needed to enclose a tank. Scott overcame McCoy's objections about tampering with the timeline by informing McCoy that Nichols had invented transparent aluminum. (TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Several years later, Nichols was approached by Shannon O'Donnel to help with a top secret project at Area 51, namely the development of the DY-100 sleeper ship. (TOS novel: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1)
- Full name is given as "Brandon Nichols" in DC Comics Spring, 1994 Star Trek Special #1 (story "The Needs of the One," set just prior to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home), contradicting later sources.
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