Three University of Central Florida researchers are involved in recently announced multi-million research projects aimed at advancing emerging technologies for the U.S. Department of Defense.
These awards are part of the Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Programwill support projects ranging from advancing hypersonic propulsion to improving semiconductor performance, and will fund work over the next five years.
The winners are:
Karim Ahmed, UCF Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Project: Multiphase Explosion of Liquid Aviation Propulsion Fuel
Amount: $7.5 million in total project awards, $1.1 million in UCF
This research utilizes jet and rocket propellant heterogeneous fuels for detonation-based propulsion for hypersonic and space rockets for ultimate hypersonic and rocket propulsion performance.
“This will lead to ultra-fast intercontinental travel, such as New York to London in less than five minutes, as well as commercial space activities and interstellar travel in a smaller form using higher power and more efficient rocket propulsion technology, enabling space It’s more economical to travel,” Ahmed said.
Stanford University is the lead institution, and researchers from the University of Connecticut, the University of Southern California, the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia are also part of the project. This work was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.
Tania Roy, UCF Nanoscience and Technology Center assistant professor
Project: Redesign: Predicting Radiation Effects from Experimentally Validated Gallium Nitride Simulations
Amount: $7.5 million in total project awards, with UCF receiving $700,000
This work focuses on understanding ionizing radiation-induced defects in gallium nitride semiconductors used in high-power and 5G networking equipment.
Ionizing radiation from the sun or other celestial bodies can affect devices in space and on Earth through solar flares.
“It’s important to understand how radiation will affect devices and what can be fundamentally done to make those devices immune to radiation,” Roy said.
Her team will use standard and novel techniques to understand the nature of the defect. This includes the further development of sophisticated techniques such as inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy in magnetic fields.
Penn State is the lead institution for the project, which also includes researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Iowa. This work was sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Kevin Coffey, UCF Materials Science and Engineering professor
Project: Comprehensive Minimally Invasive/Noninvasive Multi-Aspect Assessment of Nano/Microelectronic Devices (CoMAND)
Amount: $7.5 million in total project awards, $561,000 for UCF
This work will investigate advanced metrology or measurement techniques for microelectronics. As semiconductor electronics continue to advance, new characterization and metrology techniques are needed to ensure reliability and design consistency, Coffey said.
His research team will use experimental techniques developed from current and previous projects.
“I am delighted that this MURI has been selected for funding and am delighted to be part of this strong group of collaborators,” said Coffey. “The five-year long term of the project is very welcome because it provides an opportunity for major scientific discoveries.”
The State University of New York at Buffalo is leading the research, which also includes researchers from Columbia University; Boston University; University of Maryland, College Park; and the University of Arizona. This work was sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
About the 2022 MURI Awards
For the highly competitive 2022 DoD MURI Awards, the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Office of Naval Research solicited proposals in more than 25 thematic areas of strategic importance.
The panel of experts conducted a performance-based review of the approximately 340 proposals received, narrowed the proposal down to a subset, and selected 28 final awards. The grants, totaling $195 million, will be made available to teams at 63 academic institutions in the United States for five years each, subject to satisfactory research progress and funding availability.
“By supporting teams whose members have diverse expertise, the MURI program acknowledges the complexity of modern scientific and engineering challenges that often span multiple disciplines and require creative and diverse approaches to solving them. This intersection of ideas can accelerate research progress , to enable faster R&D breakthroughs and accelerate the transition of basic research results to practical applications,” said Dr. Bindu Nair, Director of the Office of Basic Research, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, in a press release announcing the award. “This is a program that marks the legacy of science impact and remains a cornerstone of the DoD’s basic research portfolio.”
Since its inception in 1985, important technological advancements in the three-service MURI program have had a significant impact on current and future military capabilities and multiple applications in the commercial sector.
Ahmed joins UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and is part of UCF School of Engineering and Computer Sciencein 2014.He is also a teacher Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research Center and the Florida Center for Advanced Aerospace Propulsion. He spent more than three years as a Senior Aero/Thermal Engineer at Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, working on advanced engine programs and technologies. He leads propulsion and energy research with applications to power generation and gas turbine engines, propulsion jet engines, hypersonics and fire safety, as well as research related to supernova science and COVID-19 transmission control. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a research associate at the National Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a research fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Office of Naval Research.
Roy joined UCF in 2016 as a member of the Center for Nanoscience and Technology and has a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineeringand Department of Physics. she recently NSF CAREER AWARD Focus on the development of artificial intelligence application equipment.she received UCF Distinguished Award in 2021. Before joining UCF, Roy was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Coffey joined UCF in 2002 and is a member of the UCF Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT.