Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future

By: Regina Ramazzini

Deadline: Jan 17, 2017

DMREF is the primary program by which NSF participates in the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) for Global Competitiveness. MGI recognizes the importance of materials science and engineering to the well-being and advancement of society and aims to “deploy advanced materials at least twice as fast as possible today, at a fraction of the cost.” MGI integrates materials discovery, development, property optimization, and systems design with a shared computational framework. This framework facilitates collaboration and coordination of research activities, analytical tools, experimental results, and critical evaluation in pursuit of the MGI goals. The MGI Strategic Plan highlights four sets of goals: · Leading a culture shift in materials science research to encourage and facilitate an integrated team approach; · Integrating experimentation, computation, and theory and equipping the materials community with advanced tools and techniques; · Making digital data accessible; and · Creating a world-class materials science and engineering workforce that is trained for careers in academia or industry. Accordingly, DMREF will support activities that accelerate materials discovery and/or development by building the fundamental knowledge base needed to design and make materials with specific and desired functional properties from first principles.This will be accomplished through forming interdisciplinary teams of researchers working synergistically in a “closed loop” fashion, building a vibrant research community, leveraging Big Data science, providing ready access to materials data, and educating the future MGI workforce.Specifically, achieving this goal will involve modeling, analysis, and computational simulations, validated and verified through sample preparation, characterization, and/or device demonstration. DMREF will enable development of new data analytic tools and statistical algorithms; advanced simulations of material properties in conjunction with new device functionality; advances in predictive modeling that leverage machine learning, data mining, and sparse approximation; data infrastructure that is accessible, extensible, scalable, and sustainable; the development, maintenance, and deployment of reliable, interoperable, and reusable software for the next-generation design of materials; and new collaborative capabilities for managing large, complex, heterogeneous, distributed data supporting materials design, synthesis, and longitudinal study. DMREF aligns with national priorities for advanced manufacturing and future industries, national defense and homeland security, information technologies and high performance computing, human health and welfare, clean energy, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). By facilitating interdisciplinary integrative materials research, DMREF is supportive of the NSF long-range transformative agenda, “Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments”. The multidisciplinary character of this effort dictates the involvement of programs in the NSF Directorates of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Awards are expected to range from $250,000 - $400,000 per year for a duration of three or four years, thus totaling $750,000 – $1,600,000 over the award period. To cover the breadth of this endeavor, it is expected that proposed projects will be directed by a team of at least two Senior Personnel with complementary expertise. Assuming that sufficient funding is provided in the NSF budget, it is anticipated that the DMREF program will continue through at least FY2019, with competitions biennially in odd-numbered years.

For further information, please contact: NSF grants.gov support grantsgovsupport@nsf.gov

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