California State University, Los Angeles recently received a partnership grant totaling $779,557 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), through the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program.
The grant will involve Cal State L.A. students and faculty in research at the newly-established Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials (CSEM) at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and will also foster materials research and curriculum on the Cal State L.A. campus.
"The materials partnership provides a great opportunity for both Cal State L.A. and Caltech. Cal State L.A. faculty, students, and programs will benefit from the stimulation and support provided by the Center to enhance materials related research and teaching at Cal State L.A. Caltech will benefit through the contributions of our students and faculty who will carry out joint research at both institutions. It is a win-win situation for everyone," says Stanley Pine, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal State L.A., who is serving as the principal investigator for the CSEM partnership.
Initiated by a $9.6 million NSF award, the CSEM pioneers a number of exotic and futuristic materials and applications such as "liquid" metals, responsive gels, and tiny medical sensors.
The Caltech center will focus on four areas of research that are already emerging as unique, high-impact activities on campus, says Julia Kornfield, associate professor of chemical engineering at Caltech and director of the center. The four major areas will be biological synthesis and assembly of macromolecular materials, bulk metallic glasses and composites, mesophotonic materials, and ferroelectric thin films.
The center will also establish an extensive network of research collaborations in the private sector with companies such as Lucent, Exxon, Dow, Procter and Gamble, 3M, and General Motors, and with government laboratories such as JPL and Brookhaven.
The CSEM will be one of four new NSF-funded centers in the MRSEC program. Each of the four new centers will be in keeping with the MRSEC's mission "to undertake materials research of scope and complexity that would not be feasible under traditional funding of individual research projects."
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