Advanced materials manufacturing and international study opportunities focus of new NSF grant
Monday, Sept. 25, 2017
MANHATTAN — A multimillion dollar, newly funded project at Kansas State University will advance the materials science of certain silicon-based, molecular precursor-derived ceramic fibers in an effort to reduce costs and improve performance for high-temperature applications — particularly jet aircraft turbines.
The grant also will provide international research and training opportunities for graduate students.
Gurpreet Singh, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and the Harold O. and Jane C. Massey Neff professor in mechanical engineering at Kansas State University, is principal investigator for the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education, or PIRE, five-year $4,694,233 grant.
The project, "High-Temperature Ceramic Fibers: Polymer-Based Manufacturing, Nanostructure and Performance," includes collaborators from five other U.S. universities, two national labs and two industries, as well as 10 foreign partners.
The grant will support research and training of undergraduate and graduate students in the United States by leveraging relationships that U.S. principal investigators have established with overseas counterparts in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan. U.S. PIRE members will bring expertise in the area of structure and thermo-chemo-mechanical property characterization of glass ceramics, while international partners will offer expertise in non-oxide ceramic fibers.
By establishing new U.S.-based ceramic-fiber ceramic-matrix composite science and technology through international partnerships, the program will generate a diverse, globally engaged U.S. science and engineering workforce in the field of precursor-derived ceramic fibers. This will include young researchers comprised of approximately 50 percent female and underrepresented minority students.
"The project’s aim is to encourage and increase student opportunities for learning abroad," Singh said. "Several doctoral and undergraduate research scholars will receive training on ceramic fiber research via dual-degree programs and visits to PIRE-member institutions overseas.
"Exchange visits by foreign scientists and U.S. members of both national academies of science and engineering will foster a culture of excellence, as well as widely recognized research and scholarly activities."