NU materials research center receives $15.6 million grant


Daily file photo by Ben Pope

Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Rd. Northwestern Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, which is housed in the Institute, received a $15.6 million grant.

David Fishman, Print Managing Editor

The Northwestern Materials Research Science and Engineering Center received a $15.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the University announced in a news release Wednesday.

The six-year grant will help fund the center, which directly impacts 600 members of the NU community and provides support for 18 on-campus facilities, according to the release. The center is one of eight similar initiatives in the nation to receive funding from the NSF this year.

“Northwestern has cultivated a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty across different departments for nearly six decades,” center director Mark Hersam said in the release. “Reflecting this tradition, the proposed NU-MRSEC draws faculty from seven departments across two schools at Northwestern, along with key partnerships (around the country).”

The center is split into two primary research groups. One explores materials systems with potential applications in brain-like computing, and another searches for new inorganic materials using unconventional property combinations.

Hersam said the center’s research — which is shared with students and the general public — has been transferred into new technologies and industries.

“The center has a strong track record of transitioning its fundamental materials discoveries to successful commercial outcomes, including seven startup companies with nearly 300 employees in the previous funding period,” he said.

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