Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Hessam Yazdani, Ph.D. has received a $570,000 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) to support research and education in advanced materials, water treatment and environmental chemistry, orthotics and prosthetics, and traumatic brain injury. The Co-PIs for this multidisciplinary award are Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Jeseth Delgado-Vela, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Claudia Marin, Ph.D., P.E., Mechanical Engineering Professor Mohsen Mosleh, Ph.D., Physics Professor Prabhakar Misra, Ph.D., and Radiology and Biochemistry Professor Paul Wang, Ph.D.
“DURIP grants are highly competitive, and the program is a true enabler of performing pioneering defense research and supports the training of the next generation of STEM professionals and scientists. We will use this grant to contribute to AFOSR and DoD research priorities and continue attracting and retaining highly talented researchers as a leading research institution in science and engineering,” said Dr. Yazdani.
The acquisition of advanced specialized lab equipment with this DURIP grant will enhance the inter- and transdisciplinary, education-intense research collaborations of Howard University researchers. The specialized lab equipment includes a laser scanning confocal microscope, a scanning electron microscope, a thermal conductivity meter, and a tensile testing machine. This equipment will support significant research at Howard University in developing advanced materials for civil, mechanical, and biomedical engineering applications such as wear-resistant homocomposites for manufacturing hip and knee replacements, quantifying the efficacy of the olfactory transfer of drugs into the brain to bypass the blood-brain barrier, and many other cutting-edge research areas.
Howard University graduate students will directly benefit from the specialized lab equipment as they support our researchers in their innovative and ground-breaking developments. Undergraduate research capacity across STEM disciplines at the university will also be enhanced with the incorporation of undergraduate student training and usage of the equipment.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Yazdani and his interdisciplinary team will acquire this state-of-the-art equipment to further our capabilities in advanced materials research. This team will be in a very strong position to successfully compete for funding in areas of national importance, and to expose students to these excellent facilities right here on our campus,” said Kimberly L. Jones, Ph.D., associate dean for research and graduate studies and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
DURIP is administered through a merit competition jointly conducted by the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research and has been designed to improve the capabilities of accredited US institutions of higher education to conduct cutting-edge, foundational science and engineering research and educate scientists and engineers in areas of importance to national defense by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment or instrumentation.