NSF Funds Wissam Saidi for Computational Materials Research

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 5 August 2020

Dr. Wissam Saidi, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh, was selected to receive $600,000 of NSF funding over 3 years. The Saidi group develops and uses multiscale simulation tools, including force-field, density-functional theory, quantum Monte Carlo and quantum chemistry methods, to understand, predict, and design novel materials for applications in energy conversion and storage, surfaces and interfaces, spectroscopy, and nanoparticles.

The goal of the proposal, "DeepPDB: An open-source active-learning framework to enable high-fidelity atomistic simulations in unexplored material space", will be to offer an open-source toolkit with the ability to automatically generate estimates of force-fields parameters using advanced empirical-based computational tools.

Sangyeop Lee receives $500k NSF Career Award

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 18 December 2019

Sangyeop Lee, PhD, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, received a $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research that would utilize machine learning to model thermal transport in polycrystalline materials. The research seeks to create a computer model that can predict the conductive properties of a material in real life, providing guidance to engineer defects for desired thermal properties.

Congratulations Dr. Lee!

Giannis Mpourmpakis awarded NSF for screening catalysts

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 13 August 2019

The National Science Foundation has awarded Giannis (Yanni) Mpourmpakis $354,954 to continue his research into a promising but poorly understood method of creating olefins. Olefins, simple compounds of hydrogen and carbon, serve as the building blocks in chemical industry and are important for the synthesis of materials, including polymers, plastics and more. However, creating them can be problematic: it requires the use of fossil fuels, energy intensive “cracking” facilities, and limited production control. The team in Dr. Mpourmpakis’s CANELa lab will use computational modeling and machine learning to understand how the dehydrogenation of alkanes takes place on metal oxides, and use that knowledge to screen a wide range of metal oxides and their properties for use in the process.

Congratulations Dr. Mpourmpakis!

NSF's Big Ideas: Understanding the Rules of Life and The Quantum Leap

Angela Wilson
Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Join Angela Wilson of NSF, Cynthia Burrows of the University of Utah, Theodore Goodson of the University of Michigan, and Glenn Ruskin of ACS for an introduction of two of the most impactful "Big Ideas" as well as an overview of this innovative NSF program that will advance prosperity, security, health, and well-being in the United States.

Learn more about : "Why Quantum entangled processes may play a role in our understanding of biological processes?"

Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling Quantum Leap in Chemistry

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 13 March 2018

NSF recently unveiled 10 Big Ideas — bold, long-term research and process ideas at the frontiers of science and engineering.1 Among these ideas, Quantum Leap aims to exploit quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to develop next-generation technologies for sensing, computing, modeling, and communication. In the Fall of 2016, the Division of Chemistry (CHE) sponsored a workshop entitled "Quantum Information and Computation for Chemistry",2 led by Alán Aspuru-Guzik of Harvard University and Michael Wasielewski of Northwestern University to explore the relevance of Quantum Leap to the field of chemistry. The workshop identified areas where chemists can contribute to Quantum Leap and areas where advances in Quantum Leap can enable the solution of intractable chemical problems. To follow up on the recommendations of the workshop, the CHE invites submission of supplemental funding requests and EAGER (EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) (EAGER) proposals on Quantum Leap.

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) emphasizes molecular approaches towards problems in quantum computing, sensing, communicating, etc.

Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network: Building "Triplets" to Bridge Academia and Industry

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 13 December 2017

Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network (QISE-NET) is housed at the Chicago Quantum Exchange, an intellectual hub and partnership for advancing academic and industrial efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information. QISE-NET is built "Triplets" to Bridge Academia and Industry which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation within the “Quantum Leap” and “Growing Convergent Research” Big Ideas. TRIPLETS program offers excellent opportunities for graduate students in all areas of quantum information science and engineering.


Assistant Professor Tevis Jacobs Receives $305,000 from the National Science Foundation

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 16 October 2017

Tevis Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and material science at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to observe and measure nanoscale contact inside of an electron microscope-enabling for the first time visualization of the atomic structure of the component materials while they are in contact. The team's project will measure surface roughness of tiny particles and characterize the fundamental relationship between adhesion and roughness at small sizes.

PQI Members Receive $4.8M NSF Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 September 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $4.8M award to the University of Pittsburgh under the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Sergey Frolov will be the Director of new PIRE.  Hrvoje Petek, Michael Hatridge and David Pekker are other PQI co-PIs for this project. The duration of the program is 5 years.

This PIRE will establish a multidisciplinary partnership between universities, research centers and corporations in the U.S. and France, led by the University of Pittsburgh. The aim of the partnership is the discovery and investigation of materials that hold exceptional promise for fundamental quantum physics and quantum device engineering. In particular, the focus will be on hybrid materials which combine disparate materials kinds, such as semiconductors and superconductors, in a single structure. 

Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 25 May 2017

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake significant investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or fresh approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of creating and exploiting new concepts in science and engineering and providing global leadership in research and education

NSF FY 2018 Budget Request to Congress

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 May 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today publicly presented President Donald J. Trump's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 NSF budget request to Congress.

The FY 2018 NSF budget request of $6.65 billion reflects NSF's commitment to establishing clear priorities in areas of national importance and identifying the most innovative and promising research ideas that will yield the highest return on investment for the nation. It supports fundamental research that will drive the U.S. economy, support our nation's security, and keep the U.S. a global leader in science, engineering and technology.

NSF expects to evaluate over 50,000 proposals in FY 2018 and, through its competitive merit review process, make nearly 11,000 awards, including 8,000 new research grants.