ARL North Carolina team receives prestigious award

July 07, 2017

By ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • ARL's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Partnership in Research Transition team at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University was recently recognized with the Interdisciplinary Team Award for Research Excellence.
  • The team's multi-disciplinary approach involved expertise in nanoscale material chemistry, microstructure and evolution, mechanics, construction materials and advanced computational modeling techniques.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (June 27, 2017) -- The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Partnership in Research Transition team at North Carolina's Agricultural and Technical State University was recently recognized with the Interdisciplinary Team Award for Research Excellence.

During the NC A&T's annual Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner held May 4, the "Multiscale Modeling of Cementitious Materials under Dynamic Loading" team, led by NC A&T professor of nanoengineering Dr. Ram Mohan, was awarded the Interdisciplinary Team Award, which recognizes research projects that break down the traditional boundaries among academic disciplines and demonstrate outstanding research performance while shaping student excellence.

Mohan's team included an integrated university-government group of researchers from the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi, (Dr. Arunachalam Rajendran); the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center at Vicksburg, Mississippi, (Dr. Wayne Hodo); and ARL's Army Research Office (Dr. Joseph Myers).

The program was funded through ARO's Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions program via PIRT, administered by Patricia Huff.

The award recognizes Mohan's leadership and the team's collaborative accomplishments.

The team's multi-disciplinary approach involved expertise in nanoscale material chemistry, microstructure and evolution, mechanics, construction materials and advanced computational modeling techniques.

"This project enabled research and inter-dependent relationships with students and researchers at NC A&T and UMISS, learning from ARL and ERDC scientists using resources at both universities," Mohan said.

The project was instrumental in establishing new research directions and capabilities at NC A&T, and was a first major research project in the new nanoengineering interdisciplinary program at the university.

"I and NC A&T are grateful for the support of the Army and the PIRT program and our partners," Mohan said. "The support has enabled us to make significant advances in the state of the art. The collaboration with UMISS, ERDC and ARL/ARO leveraged contributions from all to achieve this success."

Hodo testified to the value of the collaboration, saying, "The team's work is now providing the required modeling method for us to adapt and understand the influence of material chemistry changes on its engineering scale properties towards development of high-performance cement formulations to meet Army and field service needs."

Myers, mathematical sciences division chief at ARO, and Hodo were co-cooperative agreement managers on the effort and were instrumental to its success as part of ARL's Extramural Basic Research Campaign.

"This work will eventually enable important Army applications, such as the ability to use local materials, which can be highly varied worldwide, to mix effective force protection concrete panels onsite and thereby decrease lift requirements for transported protective panels or materials," Myers said.

PIRT is an Army HBCU program established as the second phase of the former Battlefield Capability Enhancement program, and has run from 2011-2017.

The purpose of the PIRT program is to enhance the programs and capabilities of a select number of high-interest scientific and engineering disciplines at HBCUs through Army-relevant, topic-focused, near-transition-ready innovative research.

The program also seeks to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs to provide excellence in education and provide opportunities for HBCUs to conduct research critical to the national security functions of the Department of Defense.

Four HBCUs have participated in the PIRT program and were funded for approximately $500,000 per year for a base of three years and with two one-year options, for a total of five years.

They were funded as Cooperative Agreements and each had a manager and Co-CAM, one from ARL/ARO and another from ARL directorates, or ERDC, to enable research transition.

From the beginning, Mohan's project was conceptualized to evolve a multi-scale nano-to-continuum modeling methodology that links and transcends across different length scales to impact design and development of advanced cement material for force and materiel protection from direct, ballistic and shock threats in theater and in homeland security applications.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, currently celebrating 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology, is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: July 7, 2017