New NSF Award for Professors Sakulich and Peterson

September 26, 2017

Congratulations to WPI Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Aaron Sakulich and Chemical Engineering Professor Amy Peterson for their REU award entitled “Advanced materials and processes for a resilient society” sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Maintaining the rapidly deteriorating built environment is one of the most significant challenges of the modern age. The National Academy of Engineering considers it to be one of the 14 “Grand Challenges” in engineering. Research carried out at this REU site will focus on the interdisciplinary investigation of both materials and processes. Materials of interest include unconventional infrastructure systems, bio-inspired materials for structural applications, and advanced composite systems; processes of interest include biomass conversion, the reclamation of rare earth elements from waste streams, and multiscalar additive manufacturing. Modern pedagogical methods such as distributed mentorship, drawn from the forefront of research in engineering education, will be employed to maximize impact on undergraduate researchers. The fundamental scientific advances made through this research will help to ensure that current and future societal needs will be sustainably supported, both within the US and across the world.