Lexington, Ky. – The University of Kentucky and University of Louisville today announced a $3.76 million grant to create a national center of excellence in micro/nanotechnology. The highly competitive grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of just 16 awarded to universities across the country.
UK and UofL are joining a new national network which will make university facilities, tools and expertise in nanoscale science, engineering and technology available to outside users.
“This collaboration integrates a diverse set of researchers, expertise and capabilities, allowing manufacturers across the nation to explore nanotechnology and how it can provide solutions to real-life challenges,” said UK Provost Tim Tracy. “It will establish our campuses and our Commonwealth as hubs of next generation advanced manufacturing.”
Eight key nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing facilities at UK and UofL will provide a collaborative center for academia, small businesses and industry to “build miniature solutions for applications in healthcare, energy, security, and beyond,” said Todd Hastings, director of the UK Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and UK College of Engineering professor.
“This award enables academic and industrial researchers nationwide to join us, and these collaborations will create educational and economic opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth,” he said.
The five year grant will be used to:
- Enhance and upgrade advanced manufacturing equipment at UK and UofL research facilities.
- Add staff to help train and support up to 500 additional external users.
- Provide seed money for research projects in key advanced manufacturing areas.
- Engage more minorities and women in nanoscale science, engineering and technology.
“The next generation of commercial, medical, and industrial products will contain embedded tiny sensors and miniature wireless communication electronics.” said Prof. Kevin Walsh, director of UofL’s Micro/Nanotechnology Center. “New manufacturing technologies will need to be developed so these smart products can be made quickly, reliably and economically. UofL and UK are tackling those challenges.”
More than 100 colleges and universities competed for the NSF program.