Australian scientists collaborate with ARL sensors, materials experts through tours, discussion

June 12, 2012

Story Highlights

  • ARL hosted two contingents of materials researchers from the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) at the ARL materials research facilities recently.
  • The event took place as part of a joint week-long ANFF-Air Force Office of Scientific Research Review Meeting held in Washington, D.C.
  • Australian scientists visited ARLs Rhodman and Zahl Laboratories.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARLs) Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate (SEDD), and the Weapons and Material Research Directorate (WMRD), hosted two contingents of materials researchers from the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) at the ARL materials research facilities, Adelphi Laboratory Center (ALC), and Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), on May 3.

The event took place as part of a joint week-long ANFF-Air Force Office of Scientific Research Review Meeting held in Washington, D.C. to explore potential collaborations between the U.S. and the ANFF in advanced materials.

This year's review meeting, a follow-up to last summer's nanotechnology workshop hosted by the ANFF in Australia, was designed to build upon existing research and to develop new collaborative basic science ties in materials and nanotechnology.

Event organizers stated the review serves an opportunity for U.S. and Australian researchers to present their work and develop scientific partnerships under the overarching principal theme of sensors with topics in advanced materials, nano-electronics, photonics, lasers, MEMS devices, and power.

Representing ARL at the Australian confab were Dr. Paul Amirtharaj, chief of SEDD's Electronics, RF Division, Dr. Brett Piekarski, chief of SEDD's Micro and Nano Materials and Devices Branch, and Dr. Brady Butler from WMRD's Lightweight and Specialty Metals Branch.

Others in attendance from ARL were Chief Scientist Dr. Steven Lee, who spoke in the opening session, Dr. Kris Darling, of WMRD's Lightweight and Specialty Metals Branch – plus researchers from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and NASA. Other prominent participants included the Honorable Kim Beazley, Australian ambassador; Prof. Mary O'Kane, chief scientist of New South Wales, Dr. William Colglazier, S&T advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State, and Dr. Robin Saffin, DoD director of basic research.

"Researchers from both sides expressed their enthusiasm for this developing relationship and are seeking ways to engage in collaborative research projects in the near future," said Dr. John Polk, advisor in ARL's International Program Office. "We hope this will be the start of a long-term continuing partnership with a leading player in materials and nanotech R&D."

The Australian scientists with more interest in structural materials visited the Rodman Laboratory at APG, and those with more interest in electronic materials visited the Zahl Laboratory at ALC. The groups were given research program overviews and lab tours of both facilities. Lab stops at ALC included piezoMEMS, flexible displays and battery chemistry, and at APG lab stops included composites, plasma processing, nanomaterials production, micromechanical testing, and the cold spray technology laboratories.

The ANFF was established in 2007, under the Australian Government's National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. ANFF links 19 universities and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in eight university-based nodes to provide Australian industry and publicly funded researchers with access to state-of-the-art nanotechnology fabrication facilities. The strength of the ANFF lies in its network of 19 member institutions (comprising half of Australia's universities and CSIRO) that are its foundation.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: June 12, 2012