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Leading a culture shift in materials research

USC colleagues receive an $8 million grant to explore potential breakthroughs in materials science

materials research
Nanojets and fluid flow lines around a gas-filled nabo-bubble collapsing under shock wave compression (Photo/courtesy of the Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations)

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded an $8 million grant to three USC engineers who will establish a center for long-sought discoveries in nanomaterials.

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Priya Vashishta, Rajiv Kalia and Aiichiro Nakano (Photo/courtesy of the Collaboratory for Advanced Computing and Simulations)

Priya Vashishta, a USC Viterbi School of Engineering professor, along with USC colleagues Aiichiro Nakano and Rajiv Kalia, received the award. The trio is developing open-source software and carrying out experiments in partnership with labs at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

“It is a unique opportunity for USC to open new frontiers in materials science,” Vashishta said.

The open-source software, materials simulation and experimental data generated by the center will be distributed to the science community.

“It frequently takes 20 years or more to transition a new material from initial discovery to practical use,” Vashishta said. “What if we cut that time in half while reducing cost and improving quality? That is a wonderful challenge to have.”

USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said: “This award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of [the trio’s] effort, vision and outstanding potential to make true breakthroughs. We look forward to unlocking the tremendous promises of creating novel materials for disruptive innovation in energy, security, sustainability and health.”

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Leading a culture shift in materials research

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