Thanks to grants received totaling $4.7 million, the UT College of Engineering-ORNL Neutron Institute will soon be born.
The center, to be established here at UT, will be an international center to study neutron sciences and materials.
The five-year contracts include $3.6 million from the National Science Foundation. The rest of the funds will come from the Tennessee Advanced Materials Laboratory, the Center for Materials Processing, the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences and other UT offices.
Provost Loren Crabtree said in a press release that the grant will establish the International Materials Institute at UT as part of an international Advanced Neutron Scattering Network for Education and Research or ANSWER.
"This grant, our relationship to ORNL, and establishment of this institute all illustrate the University of Tennessee's great potential to become a leading international research center, especially in the high technology field of neutron sciences," Crabtree said.
Institute researchers are to be Peter Liaw, Hahn Choo, and Raymond Buchanan of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and Camden R. Hubbard and Xun-Li Wang of ORNL.
Liaw will be director; Choo, co-director; Fred Tompkins, interim dean of engineering, will head education programs; and Buchanan will head faculty recruitment.
"Neutron scattering is one of the most powerful techniques available for materials research," Tompkins said. "The Spallation Neutron Source in nearby Oak Ridge provides a unique opportunity for UT to partner with SNS and lead the nation in the science and education of the application of neutron scattering in materials research, specifically in the study of mechanical behavior of advanced materials."
Tompkins also said that only out of more than 70 proposals, only three institutes received NSF international materials institute grants: UT, Princeton and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Liaw said that the institute's goals include advancing fundamental understanding of mechanical behavior of materials using state-of-the-art neutron sources; developing an international network of researchers and educators in the field of neutron scattering; facilitating exchange of scientific information through collaborative research and a global partnership network; developing a world-class workforce by providing universities and researchers access to neutron scattering and materials research programs around the world via international exchange programs; establishing educational training for the general public, K-12, college students and post-doctoral associates; and maintaining a research database and establishing a "virtual" institute on the Internet.
"Hopefully, with this institute, we will become one of the best research schools," Liaw said. "Perhaps even someday a Noble Prize might come out of work done here."
The institute will make use of various national laboratory facilities such as SNS, the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge, the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center in New Mexico and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
Corporate participants include ALCOA, Boeing Company, DANA Corporation, Federal Mogul, the General Electric Company, Haynes International Inc. and Solar Turbines Inc.
"We are proud of our engineering researchers and faculty, whose hard work and expertise are responsible for this outstanding support from the NSF," Crabtree said.
Grants finance creation of Neutron
Published: Fri Mar 28, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:58 p.m.