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Micro & Nano Mechanics of Materials

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MRSEC: Micro- and Nano- Mechanics of Materials  (Brown University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Brown University is one of a nationwide network of MRSEC’s sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF sponsors MRSEC’s as centers of excellence that support interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality in our nation. The MRSEC program enables faculty to engage in research problems of a broader scope and complexity than those addressed by a single investigator and to address problems that require the advantages of a larger infrastructure and interdisciplinary expertise provided by a campus-based research center.

The MRSEC at Brown University began in 1996, and was renewed in 2000 and 2005. Current research is focused on Micro and Nano Mechanics of Materials. Scientists at the center perform leading edge research in the mechanics of materials on multiple length scales down to the nano-scale and apply principles of solid mechanics to cell adhesion and other biological problems. The exceptional degree of collaboration and synergy among a large group of faculty with disciplinary expertise in materials, solid mechanics, physics, electrical engineering, and biology is a hallmark of the Brown MRSEC.

Education & Outreach

The Brown MRSEC organizes and executes several dynamic and innovative outreach programs in the areas of education and technology. The educational activities of the Center impact the entire Rhode Island community, bringing Brown University faculty and students in contact with students and teachers in the local schools. Summer programs incorporate students from a wider area, with emphasis on recruitment and retention of groups that are under-represented in the sciences and engineering. These efforts include NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs that offer participants the opportunity to conduct research and collaborate with MRSEC faculty over the summer. The Center has also offers a one day conference for middle school girls and their parents and teachers called Empowering Your Future as well as the Facilitating Effective Research (FER) Program, which is designed to help graduate students work more efficiently, effectively and enjoyably with undergraduates.

NSF Award:  0520651 

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  • Image from an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
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