Archives for April 1, 2016

Good Luck to Bill Fahrenholtz

VPR Mariesa Crow has appointed Bill as the Director of the Materials Research Center.  See article.

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Academic Research Initiative

notice in PIVOT

The ARI program addresses the security, prevention and protection per the PPD-8 by seeking novel cross-cutting research that will enhance national security’s capability to detect and interdict nuclear or radiological material outside of regulatory control, and otherwise help prevent nuclear terrorism or radiological attacks.

The program has two primary objectives: 1) Engage the academic community to advance fundamental knowledge for nuclear and radiological threat detection, nuclear forensics and related sciences with emphasis on fundamental research to solve long-term, high-risk challenges and 2) Develop human capital for the nuclear science and engineering profession. Further, the program works to sustain a long-term commitment to basic research in this field and coordinates research efforts across the federal government.

April 1: Last Day to Register Online for the “NIH and the Science of Science and Innovation Policy” Workshop


March 31, 2016

Online registration will close tomorrow (Friday, April 1) for the upcoming workshop, “NIH and the Science of Science and Innovation Policy”.  On the day of the meeting, on-site registration will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.  The workshop is being co-sponsored by the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) and will be held on April 7-8, 2016, in the NIH Natcher Conference Center.  Along with OSP, the workshop is being organized by the NSF Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program and several offices within the NIH Office of the Director.

Please visit the workshop website to register and to download the agenda. This meeting is open to the public, and there is no fee for attending.

The workshop will feature talks by NIH leadership as well as several panel sessions organized around research topics relevant to the SciSIP community. Broad topics include:

  • Research questions concerning NIH policies and programs
  • NIH’s administrative data – availability, access policies, and use
  • Making evidence-based funding decisions and metrics of research productivity
  • Challenges in portfolio analysis
  • Cultivating effective data sharing and open access practices
  • Optimizing the biomedical research workforce
  • Capturing research outcomes and impacts
  • Fostering cross-cutting research and team science
  • Addressing data challenges, including issues of data access, quality, and interpretability

International Congress on Neutron Capture Therapy (ICNCT-17) to be held on October 2nd through 7th, 2016 at the University of Missouri, Columbia

ISRS 2015

see website

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to invite you to the 17th International Congress on Neutron Capture Therapy (ICNCT-17) to be held on October 2nd through 7th, 2016 at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA.

Since its inception in 1983, ICNCT has been a meeting place for all researchers in the field of Neutron Capture Therapy of Cancer encompassing Chemistry, Neutron Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Medicine, and related fields.

The format of the conference will be similar to the one held before, with plenary talks, short presentations and posters highlighting current progress in the all relevant areas of the neutron capture therapy.

Abstract submission is now open and the early bird registration will begin in May 2016.

Geographically Columbia, Missouri is in the heart of United States, approximately 120 miles west of St. Louis and 120 miles east of Kansas City.

Thank you for your consideration. Please visit the conference website for relevant details and updates.

With Best Regards,

Satish S. Jalisatgi, President
David W. Nigg, Secretary and Treasurer
International Society for Neutron Capture Therapy

Basic Research for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (C-WMD) Service Call

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This solicitation is an intramural endeavor focused on the basic research needs of DTRA. DTRA has the mission to safeguard America and its allies from WMD and provide capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter thethreat and effects from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives (CBRNE). DTRA seeks to identify, adopt, and adapt emerging and revolutionary sciences that may demonstrate high payoff potential to counter WMD threats.

This Service Call solicits white papers for long-term challenges in specific fundamental areas of basic research that offer a significant contribution to the current body of knowledge or further the understanding of phenomena and observable facts and may have impact on future capabilities that support DTRA. Responses to this Service Call must be unclassified and must address only basic research. White paper and proposal submissions that address applied research, advanced technology development, or combine basic research with applied research and/or advanced technology development will be considered non responsive and will not be evaluated further. Basic research is the systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted highpayoff research that provides the basis for technological programs.

In contrast to basic research, applied research is the systematic study to understand the means to meet a recognized and specific need. It is a systematic expansion and application of knowledge to develop usefulmaterials, devices, and systems or methods. The boundary between basic research and applied research occurs at the point when sufficient knowledge exists to support a hypothesis involving a specific application.

DTRA seeks unclassified, basic research across five major functional counter WMD research thrust areas. Specific research topics that align to one or more thrust areas are presented in Section 10. The five thrust area descriptions are outlined below.

Thrust Area 1-Science of WMD Sensing and Recognition: The basic science of WMD sensing and recognition is the fundamental understanding of materialsthat demonstrate measurable changes when stimulated by energy, molecules, or particles from WMD in the environment. This research thrust involves exploration and exploitation of interactions between materials and various electromagnetic frequencies, molecules, nuclear radiation or particles. These interactions and the specific form of recognition they provide are used for subsequent generation of information that provides knowledge of the presence, identity, and/or quantity of material or energy in the environment that may be significant.

Thrust Area 2-Network Sciences: The basic science of network science is the convergence of computer, information, mathematical, networks, natural, and social science. This research thrust expands our understanding of social networks and advances knowledge of adversarial intent with respect to the acquisition, proliferation, and potential use of WMD. The methods may include analytical, computational or numerical, or experimental means to integrate knowledge across disciplines and improve rapid processing of intelligence and dissemination of information.

Thrust Area 3-Science for Protection: Basic science for protection involves advancing knowledge to protect life and life-sustaining resources and networks. Protection includes threat containment, decontamination, threat filtering, and shielding of systems. The concept is generalized to include fundamental investigations that reduce consequences of WMD, assist in the restoration of life-sustaining functions, and support forensic science.

Thrust Area 4-Science to Defeat WMD: Basic science to defeat WMD involves furthering the understanding of explosives, their detonation, and problems associated with accessing target WMDs. This research thrust includes the creation of new energetic materials or physical approaches that enhance the defeat of WMDs by orders of magnitude, the improvement of modeling and simulation of these materials and various phenomena that affect success and estimate the impact (lethality) of defeat actions, including the assessment of event characteristics using various dynamic analytical methods.

Thrust Area 5- Science to Secure WMD: Basic science to support securing WMD includes: (a) environmentally responsible innovative processes to neutralize chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE)materials and components; (b) discovery of revolutionary means to secure components and weapons; and (c) studies of scientific principles that lead to novel physical or other tags and methods to monitor compliance and disrupt proliferation pathways. The identification of basic phenomena that provide verifiable controls on materials and systems also helps arms control.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative – Fundamental Properties of Energy Flow and Partitioning at Sub-nanoscale Interfaces

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This MURI program will bring chemistry, materials, surface science, electrochemistry, and physics together to characterize and understand short time-frame sub-nanoscale non-equilibrium phenomenon at and across materials interfaces, especially the flow, redistribution and partition of energy near the interface by devising and applying novel experimental, theoretical, and simulation approaches.

Research Concentration Areas: Suggested research areas include: quantum and non-equilibrium sub-nanothermodynamics, multi-scale modeling, chemistry, molecular dynamics, materials and surface science, electrochemistry, physics, and development of diagnostics for short time and small spatial scales. Emphasis should be on understanding energy absorption, energy flow, energy repartition, electron/hole generation, phase change, crystal growth etc.) at interfaces. The aim should be to predict properties and control responses to various stimuli such as the formation of hot-spots leading to ignition of energetic materials, crystal growth, plasmon generation, phase transformation, crack propagation and energy mode interchange (e.g. friction and generation of heat during mechanical strain). To achieve this a multidisciplinary approach including the development of new experimental diagnostics to enable the sub-surface probing of opaque materials, selective interrogation of interfaces, over a wide range of time scales, and novel synthetic methods to produce model systems with specific interfacial properties is envisioned. A synergistic theoretical-experimental approach with mutually dependent research goals will be required with: (1) new electronic structure theory that can capture coupling of excited states caused by electron correlation effects during energy redistribution that DFT cannot, (2) can be applied at larger scales than current high level ab initio methods, and (3) new potentials for finite domain interfaces.

Armament Technology Broad Agency Announcement – Facilities and Equipment Enabling Micro Munitions and Advanced Energetics

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The Air Force anticipates a need for new, improved, and often unique facilities and equipment to support expanding future in-house RDT&E (research, development, test, and evaluation) work especially in the areas ofmicro munitions and advanced energetics. This work will require facilities with the capability to work with energetic nano materials that may also be classified as an explosive. These new RW facilities and equipment will enable world class research, development, integration, fabrication and testing of future prototype munitions system concepts demonstrating emerging micro munition and advanced energetics technologies. Developing concepts and preliminary designs for these new and unique facilities as well as for much of the new equipment to be used in these facilities will need to be approached as research and development projects, not as just design projects. New control/monitoring techniques and equipment will be required to simultaneously meet HVAC requirements for working with nano materials that are also an explosive especially in areas where a clean room environment is required. Of particular interest are proposals for preliminary feasibility studies; concept development, assessment, evaluation, preliminary design and associated cost estimates/presentation material for the new facilities and/or new research equipment that will be required to pursue this evolution of energetics from conventional explosives to reactive materials and nano energetics and munitions from the current conventional munitions to micro munitions. Also of interest are proposals for structural response calculations/modeling, design analysis, and design needed to support Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board (DDESB) submittals/presentations required for explosives siting approval of new facilities to be located at one of RW’s remote explosives locations. This topic includes work to advance the understanding of nanoenergetic material effects on both the human body and the environment as well as work relating to the understanding, interpretation, and assessment of present and likely future applicable environmental, safety, and health requirements/regulations that would relate to nano energetics. A need is anticipated for developing new systems/components that will enable the new facilities and equipment to meet these emerging future requirements/regulations.

SEED Solicitation (Federal and Non-Federal) – Weapons Systems and Platforms – Solvent-Free Processes for Organic Synthesis of Military-Relevant Energetic Materials

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The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) is to develop innovative synthetic approaches to produce energetic materials and their precursors that will eliminate or drastically reduce hazardous waste streams from the nitration processes that are widely used in manufacturing energetic materials. Typical nitration processes of aromatic compounds, amines, and alcohols to produce C-Nitro, N-Nitro or Nitrate ester based energetics involve large quantities of strong acids (sulfuric and nitric) and produce large quantities of hazardous wastes. Solvents used in the preparation of these compounds are contaminated with the energetic material, hazardous reagents, or reaction by-products and are not easily recycled. In addition, typical nitration reactions require rigorous temperature control and are therefore energy intensive processes.

Proposals should focus on one of the following processes:
– Synthesis of an aromatic/heteroaromatic nitro compound (e.g. TNT, DNAN)
– Synthesis of a nitramine (e.g. RDX, HMX, CL-20)
– Synthesis of a nitrate ester (plasticizer) (NG, TMETN, etc. or nitrocellulose)

Proposals also will be considered for more broad-based research to develop the fundamentals of synthetic methodologies as related to energetic materials with no specific targeted compounds. Proposed methodologies will need to be innovative and need to go beyond the previously investigated methods of recycle and reuse of solvents/reagents. This could include solid phase synthesis for aromatic nitration, nitramine, nitrate ester formation, or oxidation of amines to nitro groups.

In the past, SERDP has explored electrochemical and biological methodologies as well as hybrid pathways involving combinations of synthetic biological and organic synthesis to produce energetic materials or to explore novel nitration pathways. Proposers for this SON should focus on methods that minimize or eliminate solvents and that do not involve biological or electrochemical methods.

Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC)

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This multidisciplinary program supports basic research in solid state andmaterials chemistry comprising the elucidation of the atomic and molecular basis for material development and properties in the solid state fromthe nanoscale to the bulk. General areas of interest include but are not limited to innovative approaches to design, synthesis, bulk crystal and/or film growth, and characterization of novel organic, inorganic, and hybrid materials, as well as liquid crystal materials and multi-component material systems exhibiting new phenomena and/or providing new scientific insights into structure/composition/property relationships in the solid state. Relevant topics include original material design principles, new approaches to assembly or crystalline material growth, characterization of new material phenomena or superior behavior, investigations of surface and interfacial effects on material system structures and properties, and unraveling the relationships between structure/composition (e.g. self- or program-assembled materials, crystalline material growth, and nanostructured material systems) and properties (e.g. charge, ionic, thermal or spin transport, exciton diffusion, chemical reactivity and selectivity, etc.). Development of new organic solid state materials, environmentally-safe and sustainable materials, and fundamental studies of novel material and material systems for efficient energy harvesting, conversion and storage are encouraged. The SSMC program works closely with other programs within the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and Engineering (ENG) directorates to accommodate the multidisciplinary nature of proposal submissions.

Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP)

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The Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP) program supports fundamental research addressing the processing and mechanical performance of engineering materials by investigating the interrelationship of materialsprocessing, structure, properties and/or life-cycle performance for targeted applications.Materials processing proposals should focus on manufacturing processes that convert material into useful form as either intermediate or final composition. These include processes such as extrusion, molding, casting, deposition, sintering and printing. Proposed research should include the consideration of cost, performance, and feasibility of scale-up, as appropriate. Novel processes for the production of nanoscale materials (nanotubes, nanocrystals, etc.) are of interest. Process optimization studies without a fundamental scientific contribution are not supported.

Research proposals related to mechanical performance should be driven by a targeted application(s). Structural materials that, in service, bear mechanical load are of interest. These include materials such as metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, ceramics, hybrids and cement, intended for applications ranging from the microscale (e.g., MEMS) to the macroscale (e.g., civil infrastructures). Research related to the deterioration of performance during service (e.g., corrosion and degradation) is also of interest.

In some cases, the performance of functional materials is also of interest. This includes materials that possess native properties and functions that can be controlled by external influences (e.g., temperature, light and pH) as well as responsive materials (e.g., piezoelectric, chromogenic, shape memory and self-healing). Research proposals on performance of electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries and PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program. One exception to this would be for proposals related to multifunctional (versus a single function) material performance that include a consideration of mechanical performance. Proposals on this topic are encouraged.

Research plans driven by scientific hypotheses are encouraged. Material structures across length scales ranging from nano to meso to macro are of interest. Research on materials in the bulk or in special configurations such as surfaces or interfaces is appropriate as are research proposals related to surface engineering or tribology. Analytical, experimental, and/or numerical studies are supported. Collaborative proposals with industry (GOALI) are encouraged.

Proposals related to additive manufacturing, laser processing or bonding/joining processes are welcome in CMMI and should be submitted to the Manufacturing Machines and Equipment (MME) program, even if the focus of such proposals is on the materials for those processes. Proposals addressing the manufacture (scale up, quality, reliability, etc.) of nanoscale materials, structures, devices and systems should be submitted to the Nanomanufacturing (NM) program. Proposals addressing atomic/molecular scale synthesis or thin film synthesis (as opposed to manufacturing) are not appropriate for the MEP program. Research proposals on electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries, PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program unless there is new science being proposed about manufacturing processes for these materials. Research on the mechanics of solid materials should be directed to the Mechanics of Materials (MoM) program. Investigators with proposals focused on design methodological approaches and theory enabling the accelerated development and insertion of materials should consider the Design of Engineering Material Systems (DEMS) program. In response to the Materials Genome Initiative, there is a special initiative for research on a combined theoretical and experimental approach to accelerate materials discovery and development; such proposals should be directed to the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future (DMREF) opportunity.