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Research Awards Continue to Grow: Notre Dame Faculty to Receive more than $396K in DURIP Grants

Nina Welding • DATE: October 3, 2017

Categories:  Press Release

Albert Szent-Györgyi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937 for his work with the biological combustion processes, specifically in reference to vitamin C, knew four things about research. It required “brains with which to think, eyes with which to see, machines with which to measure and, fourth, money.” So as critical as the first three are, they often flounder when there is not money to support foundational studies. Money supports key personnel and purchases essential equipment.

For this reason, faculty across the country submit proposals as part of the annual Department of Defense (DoD) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) program. Conducted jointly by the Army Research Office (ARO), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the DURIP awards process is a highly competitive one. This year the DoD received more than 685 proposals requesting $283 million in funding for research in materials, structures, and manufacturing science; quantum and nanosciences; computing and networks; electronics, electromagnetics, and electro optics; acoustics; neuroscience; fluid dynamics; robotics and artificial intelligence; and environmental, ocean, and life sciences and engineering. Approximately 160 of the proposals, representing 84 institutions, were funded for a total of $47 million, with individual award amounts ranging from $53,000 to $1.4 million.

Three Notre Dame faculty —  Jason Hicks, David Go and Thomas Juliano — received Department of Defense (DoD) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants for 2017, totaling more than $396K.

For the proposal titled “A Fournier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy System for the In Situ Measurement of Plasma-Catalyst Interactions for Enhanced Reaction Control,” Hicks, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Go, the Rooney Family Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, will receive $131,753 from the AFOSR. The funds will help to purchase and upgrade a Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy instrument, which will enable in situ plasma-catalyst studies across a wide range of temperatures, pressures and gas compositions. With this instrument they can observe and quantify plasma-catalyst interfaces under realistic operational conditions. Specifically, they will study plasma-enhanced catalytic hydrocarbon reforming and nitrogen fixation reactions. The measurements will help them better understand the interactions and, eventually, design plasma-enhanced chemical processes that would be cleaner burning and more energy efficient than currently possible with fossil fuels.   

Jason Hicks
Hicks, a recipient of the NSF Early Career Development Award, NSF BRIGE Award and the ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, focuses on heterogeneous catalysis, applying concepts from materials science, inorganic chemistry and chemical reaction engineering to design new catalytic materials for cleaner energy applications.

David Go
Go explores a wide variety of topics in low-temperature plasma generation and chemistry, microfluidics and sprays and thermal modeling applications in electronics cooling, energy conversation, biosensing and fuel reforming. He is a recipient of the NSF Early Career Development Award, the AFOSR Young Investigator Research Award and the Electrochemical Society Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship. Go is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Thomas Juliano
Juliano, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, will receive $265,100 from the AFOSR for his proposal, “Hypersonic High-Reynolds-Number Quiet Wind Tunnel: Air Compressor and Heater.” The funds will purchase specialized components for the Mach-6 high-Reynolds-number quiet wind tunnel being constructed on the Notre Dame campus. Its combination of flow quality and size make it a unique tool for studying natural laminar-to-turbulent (smooth-to-irregular) boundary-layer transition at hypersonic speeds. Understanding this phenomenon is critical to enable accurate prediction of surface heating, skin friction, flow separation, aero-optical distortion and other boundary-layer properties that impact flight, maneuverability and reentry.

A senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Juliano studies high-speed aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics. His most recent projects include the design of the hypersonic quiet wind tunnel, improving heat flux measurement techniques and the analysis of hypersonic flight test data.
 

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