Chawla is the Fulton Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the
Chawla will work on a project to develop advanced methods of predicting the onset of cracking and other damage to the primary materials used in the construction of military aircraft and sea craft. The team will also seek ways to improve the resiliency of the materials.
Along with Chawla, the project joins mechanical engineers, mathematicians and theoreticians at the
The MURI grant provides
The project on which Tao will collaborate will seek to make advances in electrochemical microscopy - which is the foundation for many major technologies such as batteries, fuel cells, chemical analysis, chemical sensors and biological sensors - and corrosion prevention. Tao will work with colleagues from the
When final funding figures are approved, the MURI grant for the entire project could provide as much as
Chawla's role on his team will involve quantifying how and where fractures and other forms of material degradation originate at the microstructural level. He'll use advanced X-Ray tomography to get a microscopic view of the characteristics of materials behavior, a method designed to yield information on which to base mathematical predictions of when and where materials will incur damage under varying conditions.
The focus will be on the kinds of metal alloys used for military vehicles and equipment, and other defense-systems hardware. The work will be done in Chawla's 4-
MURI grants are intended to provide opportunities for graduate students to participate in cutting-edge research. Chawla's lab team will include material engineering doctoral students
Chawla has extensive experience doing materials research for defense systems. He has worked on projects funded by
Tao's part in his team's project will focus on gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the fundamental aspects of electrochemical processes at the nanometer scale. He'll work at developing a new form of microscopy - optical electrochemical microscopy, which converts an electrochemical signal into an optical signal - that will produce more precise imaging of what takes place during electron transfer, the fundamental trigger for electrochemical processes.
The research is designed to reveal new knowledge of the spatial aspects of electron-transfer dynamics in real time on the nano-scale. Advanced understanding of those dynamics can help enable development of improved chemical analysis, sensor technology and electroplating processes (used to create metal coatings for corrosion-resistance), as well as more effective energy and fuel devices.
Tao's work for the project will be performed in his
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