Researchers within the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) at the University of Pennsylvania have been conducting breakthroughs in the field of materials science since it opened in 1961. A leading center within the LRSM that helps with this breakthrough research, the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), was recently awarded a $22.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will support materials research at UPenn over the next six years.
Scientists at the MRSEC in Philadelphia work in collaborative groups comprised of faculty, post-docs, and grad students from nine different campus departments. The researchers in these teams have access to the different facilities and educational opportunities offered throughout the center. The NSF has a limit of no more than 3 interdisciplinary groups within the MRSEC. UPenn has the maximum three teams that will be using this grant to conduct research in the following three areas:
- Rearrangements & Softness in Disordered Solids
- Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Materials
- Pluperfect Nanocrystal Architects
Arjun Yodh, director of the UPenn LRSM explained that: “Our research projects identify and tackle big, new problems in materials science. These problems are generally multi-faceted and are too difficult for individuals or small teams to solve. Our new activities will require collaborations between chemists; physicists; chemical, electrical and mechanical engineers; materials scientists; bioengineers; biologists; and medical researchers.”