The News Service
Six-Year Grant for Pioneer U.S. Center
NSF Grant Supports Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
The National Science Foundation has awarded Brown University $9.4 million to continue the work of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, a project aimed at creating new or more reliable materials for industries such electronics and aerospace. The center also provides materials science education and training to public school students and teachers as well as undergraduates.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The National Science Foundation has awarded Brown University a six-year, $9.4-million grant to fund the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), one of 29 research and education centers nationwide that investigate new materials for commercial use as well as train the next generation of materials scientists.
Brown’s Division of Engineering established its MSREC in 1996, one of the earliest centers in the United States.
The award will support research and teaching by 20 Brown faculty members, most in engineering but also faculty from biology and physics. Their research falls into three categories:
“We will be applying good science and good engineering to challenging technical problems,” said William Curtin, professor of engineering at Brown and director of the MSREC. “The ideas we generate at the center will not only go out to the scientific community, but to industry as well. The work can be applied to make better products we use and rely on every day.”
The MRSEC also has an educational mission. Through the center, Brown undergraduate engineering students deliver hands-on science lessons on materials and mechanics at elementary and middle schools across Rhode Island. Teachers, meanwhile, come to Brown for science and engineering workshops that help them improve classroom lessons. Some even spend summers working side-by-side with faculty to conduct research.
Undergraduates from Brown and other universities and colleges, many of them minority students, also spend summers working in campus laboratories. The goal is to attract and mentor under-represented students in the sciences.