Akono Group Awarded NSF GOALI to Investigate Premature Failure of Novel Nanocomposites

Prof. Akono’s group won a $400k GOALI Grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research to investigate the fatigue response of ceramic nanocomposites. The GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) program seeks to promote university-industry partnership. In this case, a strong collaboration will take place with Anton Paar, world leader in surface characterization and materials nanoscale mechanical assessment. The project will focus on discovering a new generation of smart materials with potential applications such as low-carbon concrete alternatives, acoustic and thermal insulators, porous membranes for separation processes, heterogeneous solid catalysts, and corrosion-resistant coatings. The research will articulate new materials design rules to yield damage-tolerant materials. In addition, new experimental methodologies will be formulated for quality assessment with respect to failure under low-level repetitive loading.

This prestigious research grant will foster a dialogue around nanomaterials science and nanotechnology through the organization of academia-industry workshops that will bring around world experts on nanoscale mechanics and advanced materials. The research will provide invaluable opportunities for graduate students and undergraduate students to collaborate in highly transdisciplinary research. The research will support highly innovative outreach efforts aimed at supporting the emergence of a science identity in high school students in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools. More detailed regarding the award can be found here.