UTEP Receives $257K National Science Foundation Grant
March 3, 2016 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
A team of metallurgical and materials faculty at The University of Texas at El Paso as been awarded $257,958 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to purchase an Advanced Nanoscal Deformation with imaging system, or nanoidenter, for the study of the mechanical behavior including biomaterials and biomolecules.
The UTEP grant team, led by Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering Department Chair and Professor Devesh Misra, Ph.D., includes Professor Thomas Boland, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor David A. Roberson, Ph.D.; Associate Professor Namsoo P. Kim, Ph.D.; and Pavana Prabhakar, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
The nanoidenter is used to measure and test mechanical and material properties at a scale about a thousand times finer than a human hair. It will enable UTEP researchers to look at wear and susceptibility in nanostructured materials, the nanomechanical characterization of 3D printable materials, the biomechanical properties of tissue engineered biomaterials, and much more.
The new equipment will provide UTEP undergraduate and graduate students with a user-friendly testing platform. Students will be trained to conduct leading-edge research using the state-of-the-art system in combination with other advanced material characterization techniques, making them competitive professional career candidates in STEM fields.
"Outcomes of this research will include novel materials with desired adhesion, wear, and reduced vulnerability to mechanically-induced damage as well as biomaterials for use in regenerative therapeutic medicine fields and high-strength materials in mechanical and electronics application" said Misra.