Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Advanced Materials Manufacturing and Discovery for Extreme Environments (CAM2DE2)
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The Planning Grants for Engineering Research Centers competition was run as a pilot solicitation within the ERC program. Planning grants are not required as part of the full ERC competition, but intended to build capacity among teams to plan for convergent, center-scale engineering research.Technology advances are resulting in increasingly complex engineering systems for energy, biomedical devices, infrastructure, transportation, and space exploration. These advances also require materials that can perform in extreme environments. These requirements currently exceed the operating limits of available materials. This project envisions an ERC that brings together experts from multiple areas and perspectives to tackle this issue at two levels. The first level is the need to have input from the areas of materials, process, product, and life cycle design research to tackle these challenges. The second level looks at how advanced materials and manufacturing modeling, data analytics, and design methodologies interact in a comprehensive solution. The vision of this planning grant is to establish a joint industry-academia research and innovation team to identify overarching fundamental scientific issues that limit current material capabilities. The goal of this ERC planning grant will be to bring these research areas and approaches together to discover and design advanced materials that can extreme conditions. The proposed ERC would impact society through the development of materials and infrastructure that are durable and resilient, improving the safety and welfare of society against extreme events.Understanding the behavior of materials and engineered systems under extreme conditions and translating this knowledge into the design of robust and sustainable materials requires a full description of the multi-scale phenomena associated with the interaction between materials and environment. The proposed ERC planning grant will provide a fertile platform to bring stakeholders together through three regional workshops. The scientific and technological problems identified at these workshops will serve to enable a fundamental paradigm shift in materials and manufacturing design for extreme environments. This shift will incorporate computational materials/product design, machine learning, and stochastic approaches. This ERC planning grant will enable comprehensive formulation of a sustainable vision, focus, and ERC structure on the proposed topic. Key material systems and testbeds will be identified, in collaboration with targeted industry partners, professional societies, federal regulatory bodies, and end users. Long-term plans for integrated education, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and broadening participation activities will be developed. Applications will span from healthcare, transportation, and energy generation, to infrastructure applications. These activities will engage a wide range of stakeholders, from K-12 to professionals as well as industry partners. Established partnerships and collaborations with minority-serving institutions will provide opportunities for broadening participation.This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.