UCSB Engineering

October 10, 2005

National Science Foundation Renews Support to UCSB’s Materials Research and Engineering Center with $20.52 million, Six-Year Grant

As a testament to the outstanding achievement of the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed and increased its support of the MRL -- as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) -- making a $20.52 million, six-year award.

The MRL at UC Santa Barbara investigates a wide range of materials, including new semiconductors for microelectronics, novel nanostructures for high-speed communication devices and advanced polymeric materials. Active collaborations exist with a variety of small to large companies, which have a direct benefit to the region. In addition, the center directs pioneering education and international outreach programs, including undergraduate research opportunities, graduate training, outreach to K-12 students and teachers, and community outreach. Craig Hawker, a UCSB professor of chemistry and materials, is Director of the MRL.

The MRL at UC Santa Barbara was one of 11 MRSECs that successfully competed for renewed support. A total of 29 centers are currently supported by the MRSEC program with combined annual NSF support of $52.5 million. According to a NSF news release, “Each center has made a substantial commitment to effectively integrate its educational activities with its scientific research program, and to fully develop its human resource potential.”

The MRL at UC Santa Barbara was established in September 1992, with funding from NSF, and in 2001 was renewed with a NSF grant of $16.5 million. Its primary role is to support interdisciplinary research, training and education through the study of materials with chemical and structural complexity in which self-assembly and multiple length-scales play important roles.

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Tony Rairden
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