As part of a multi-campus research initiative of the University of Missouri System, Missouri University of Science and Technology will establish four new research centers and laboratories that build on the university's strengths in materials science and engineering, civil infrastructure, and electrical power systems.
The Missouri S&T projects are among 19 from the UM System’s four universities selected to receive funding through the system’s strategic investment program for research and creative works. UM System President Mun Choi, Missouri S&T Chancellor Mohammad Dehghani and other university leaders from the campuses in Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis announced the list of selected programs.
“I’m very proud of the efforts our diverse research teams at Missouri S&T expended to develop creative, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches to address some of the great scientific challenges of our state and nation,” Dehghani says. “Each of the S&T projects, as well as those of our sister universities, will leverage the talents of researchers and scholars throughout our entire system for the greater good.”
Dehghani adds that all four of Missouri S&T’s winning projects include researchers from other UM System campuses who will closely collaborate with S&T on the projects.
Through the program, Missouri S&T will receive funding for the following projects:
— The Center for Glass Science and Technology (CGST), which will provide equipment and lab space to support research across the UM System related to the NextGen Precision Health Initiative and Institute. NextGen is expected to accelerate medical breakthroughs for patients in Missouri and beyond. The CGST builds on Missouri S&T’s previous success in glass research, including the development of bioactive glasses to treat cancer and open wounds. Dr. Richard Brow, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering, will lead the center. Other faculty involved are Dr. Ming C. Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Professor of Integrated Product Manufacturing at Missouri S&T; Dr. Julia Medvedeva, Missouri S&T professor of physics; Dr. Julie Semon, assistant professor of biological sciences at Missouri S&T; and Dr. Yezaz Ghouri, assistant professor of clinical medicine at MU Health Care.
— The Center for Novel Carbon-Efficient Binders for Sustainable Infrastructure, where researchers will develop more sustainable and efficient binding agents for concrete. The bonding agents hold promise as being stronger, more durable and longer lasting. Dr. Kamal Khayat, the Vernon and Maralee Jones Professor of Civil Engineering at Missouri S&T, will lead the center. Other faculty involved are Dr. Sajal K. Das, the Daniel St. Clair Chair of Computer Science at S&T; Dr. Aditya Kumar, Missouri S&T assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Dr. Honyang Ma, S&T assistant professor of civil engineering; and Dr. George A. Zsidisin, the John W. Barriger Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
— The Center for Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience, which will bring together experts in data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence to develop new approaches to the design, inspection and maintenance of infrastructure – from roads, bridges, buildings and tunnels to electrical power grids. The center will be led by Dr. Genda Chen, the Robert W. Abbett Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at S&T, and will involve Dr. Jenny Liu, Missouri S&T professor of civil engineering; Dr. Suzanna Long, professor and chair of engineering management and systems engineering at S&T; Dr. Zhaozheng Yin, associate professor of computer science at S&T; and Dr. William G. Buttlar, the Glen Barton Chair of Flexible Pavement Technology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
— A project titled “Energy Reliability and Resilience of Electrified Transportation Infrastructure” and the affiliated Electrified Transportation Distribution System Laboratory. The lab will be used to demonstrate and test new devices and systems for electric transportation, including light rail, electric ships, renewable energy systems and electric vehicle charging stations. Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at S&T, will lead the project. Joining him are Dr. Jonathan Kimball, professor of electrical and computer engineering at S&T; Dr. Robert Landers, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering at S&T; Dr. Ruwen Qin, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering at S&T; Dr. Dan Lin, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MU; and Dr. Jianli Pan, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at UMSL.
In addition, Missouri S&T faculty are involved in two research efforts led by MU. Khayat is involved in a project to develop future urban infrastructure, and Dr. Stephen S. Gao, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor of geology and geophysics, is part of a team that will develop capacity for using geospatial-enabled data for a breadth of research across the four-university UM system.
The winning projects were chosen because they either advance the systemwide NextGen Precision Health Initiative, support the core instrumentation and infrastructure of the NextGen Precision Health Institute on the Columbia campus, or serve other key priorities of the four universities.