WILMINGTON, Del. — The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a 6-year, $18 million award to launch a new center for materials science research led by the University of Delaware. This federal funding will support the Center for Hybrid, Active, and Responsive Materials (CHARM) at the university’s Newark campus. The new center will be one of 11 Materials Research Science & Engineering Centers (MRSEC) across the country funded by the NSF and the first in our region, and will be managed by a number of regional partners that include Delaware State University, the University of Pennsylvania, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Chemours. U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), who has been a strong supporter of NSF and NIST through his work on the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee and has encouraged regional cooperation amongst the universities and corporate partners in the region, has commended the NSF and congratulated officials at the University of Delaware on the award.

“I am grateful to Director Panchanathan and the NSF for this support and am especially delighted to see Delaware State University primed to work with world class partners at Penn, University of Delaware, NIST, and Chemours. This funding will help launch a new research center in materials science; a field with applications in medicine, manufacturing, space science, and more. Having worked at one of Delaware’s most innovative materials-based science companies, I know that our region is full of pioneering minds poised to advance our country’s leading edge in this field,” said Senator Coons. “This award not only provides a home for new research in our region, but it will allow students access to funding and opportunities and make these regional partners an even more attractive destination for top scientists.”

“We congratulate Professors Thomas Epps and LaShanda Korley for leading this transformational effort. The new Center for Hybrid, Active and Responsive Materials at UD will expand the boundaries of science and engineering and spearhead the materials revolution that will help create the future economy,” said Dennis Assanis, President of the University of Delaware. “The center will bolster our research and academic partnerships with Delaware State University and with Claflin University to provide more educational opportunities to students from underrepresented groups. We look forward to the exciting developments ahead by this amazing team!"

“The First State is filled with first-class researchers whose work keeps Delaware and our surrounding region leading the way in science and engineering. Our congressional delegation, thanks especially to the hard work of Senator Coons on the Appropriations Committee, is laser-focused on ensuring that we keep aiming high and expanding our capabilities,” said Senator Carper. “This $18 million award will ensure that Delaware students have both the opportunity and the resources to continue pushing the limits and leading us into the future. It will also ensure that Delaware continues to be a home for innovation and attract top minds from around the country and around the world. I’m so pleased that our congressional delegation was able to work together, along with President Assanis and his excellent team at the University of Delaware, to secure this significant federal grant that will keep the First State, our researchers and our students on the cutting edge for years to come.”

“This grant from the National Science Foundation represents a truly impactful investment in Delaware. Establishing an $18 million material sciences center will provide truly unique academic and research opportunities right here in the First State,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “I want to thank the NSF, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, and all of the partners who will lead this regional effort, along with the incredible faculty and staff who helped secure this grant.”

MRSECs are an important part of the materials science enterprise in the United States. They serve as hubs for international collaboration in research and industry partnerships, as well as developers of educational materials for the materials community.  Additionally, each Center participates in the Materials Research Facilities Network. The Network provides support to researchers and experimental facilities engaged in the broad area of materials research in academic, government and industrial laboratories around the world.