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Clark School Announces MRI Program Award Winners

The University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering recently announced three winners of its Major Research Instrumentation Program award. The recipients include Assistant Professor Sarah Bergbreiter (Mechanical Engineering/Institute for Systems Research), Associate Professor Ahmet Aydilek (Civil and Environmental Engineering), and Professor and Chair Robert Briber (Materials Science and Engineering). All three winners exhibited the MRI program’s criteria of supporting a strategic area of the college, involving an interdisciplinary group of faculty researchers, and being cost effective.

Bergbreiter’s purchase and installation proposal for a Robotics Realization lab outlined a plan for the acquisition of advanced human-safe robots for manufacturing and medical applications, as well as mechanical and electrical rapid prototyping equipment to support the development of commercially unavailable robot hardware.

Aydilek’s proposal outlined a plan for obtaining analytical instrumentation to support an urban environmental resiliency initiative. The proposed plan seeks to design urban water infrastructure to withstand disasters and other threats to water security, reducing negative environmental impacts and protecting human health. Research projects using this instrumentation will develop technologies to mitigate the competing issues of continued growth, declining water quality, and the reliability of these systems.

Briber’s proposal detailed the purchase of a focused ion beam microscope with the aim of bringing new nanostructure characterization capability to the University of Maryland. This tool would both image and modify specimens down to the nanometer-scale using a narrow-diameter beam of charged atoms, allowing for a fully 3-D view of the internal structure of a specimen.

Each winning proposal provided logistical details regarding the instruments, including budgets, steps for purchase, and particulars on implementation. 

July 1, 2014

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