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About Us

At the Center for Structural and Functional Materials, the primary objective is to foster interdisciplinary research in advanced and specialized metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials.

Our research nurtures students' talents to prepare them for scholarly and professional careers, and enhances economic development in the state. The Center strengthens interdisciplinary materials research by involving faculty members from diverse backgrounds and expertise, but with commonality of interests. The interdisciplinary character of the Center broadens the horizon of faculty and students while keeping them abreast of recent and ongoing developments in science and technology. The aim is to expose students to a broad experience, not a byproduct of immersion in an intensive research experience in a manner such that the students are trained in interdisciplinary thinking and practice.

The dominant structure of the Center is ‘interdisciplinary research,’ not one that trains students too narrow in a subspecialty. This characteristic constitutes the uniqueness of the Center.

The above approach to research in structural and functional materials helps to achieve the following:

  • underscore the synergistic benefit of acting as a interdisciplinary materials group,
  • promote cross-fertilization of ideas, concepts and technical expertise, and
  • utilize facilities and mobilize resources effectively and in a coordinated manner.

Through the emphasis in structural and functional materials research and interdisciplinary settings, the center seeks to integrate the four elements of the central paradigm of materials research:

  • structure,
  • process,
  • property, and
  • performance.

While aiming to accomplish the above objectives, the mission of the Center is to provide a comprehensive source of application, demonstration, training, prototyping, and assistance in technology transfer in the establishment of a business. This expands the industrial base of metals, polymers, ceramics, and composite materials in the state. This is being accomplished through the following steps:

  • develop new processes based on research inputs,
  • design new and improved products with superior performance,
  • redesign existing components for new system configurations,
  • enhance the ability of business and industry to absorb new technologies into their manufacturing processes,
  • provide technical expertise in the transfer of high technology and the generation of new technology to companies seeking to upgrade or diversify, and
  • perform feasibility studies of proposed and existing production molds for example, plastic injection molding and metal casting.