Agrawal wins Northwestern Data Science Initiative Award

He recently received seed funding for a project, titled, "Data-driven Analytics for Understanding Processing-structure-property-performance Relationships in Steel Alloys"

Prof. Ankit Agrawal recently received seed funding for a project as part of the Northwestern Data Science Initiative. The project is titled, "Data-driven Analytics for Understanding Processing-structure-property-performance Relationships in Steel Alloys", for which PI Agrawal will collaborate with Co-PIs Prof. Gregory Olson and Prof. Alok Choudhary.

It is well-known that almost everything in materials science depends on processing-structure-property-performance (PSPP) relationships. Understanding invertible PSPP relationships for steel alloys is necessary to discover and design new improved steels. In particular, accurate prediction of fatigue strength of steels is important for several advanced technology applications due to the extremely high cost and time of fatigue testing and potentially disastrous consequences of fatigue failures. Fatigue is known to account for more than 90% of all mechanical failures of structural components. This project would aims to develop fast, accurate, and generalizable forward PSPP models, which could in turn be used in the long-run to realize inverse models for advanced steel design.

PI Agrawal is a Research Associate Professor of EECS. His research focuses on high performance big data analytics with an emphasis on interdisciplinary impact of data science, particularly in materials science, healthcare, and social media. Co-PI Olson is Professor of MSE, co-founder of QuesTek Innovations LLC and an internationally-recognized leader and pioneer in the field of computational materials design, in particular of steels, and will provide key MSE expertise in this project. Co-PI Choudhary is a Professor of EECS and a world leader in scalable computing and big data analytics. The PIs will leverage their existing collaborations as part of the NIST CHiMaD consortium and DARPA SIMPLEX project. 

Data Science Seed Funding: Northwestern University currently hosts a significant number of faculty engaged and interested in data science. Northwestern’s Office of the Provost and Office of Research have made a financial commitment in order to promote the strengthening of interdisciplinary collaborations around data science with the goal of moving Northwestern forward in this area. Importantly, we are defining data science (and “big data”) not by the absolute size of the data, but by its increase relative to what has been typical in a discipline.

As a result of the University’s commitment, the Data Science Initiative has been granted funds to help faculty already involved or planning to get involved in Data Science. Funds have been allocated for the retaining and hiring of postdoctoral fellows and for the support of current graduate students. We will support on the order of 20 data science projects per year at the level of $10K-$50K in direct costs.

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