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Brown, Oak Ridge Team for Materials Science Research

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PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 30, 2006 -- Providence-based Brown University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee will work together to advance research and teaching, with an emphasis on materials science, it was announced this week.

Under the agreement, approved by the Corporation of Brown University and signed by Provost Robert J. Zimmer and ORNL Director Jeffrey Wadsworth, the two institutions can exchange faculty and conduct joint research. ORNL staff can teach courses at Brown, while Brown graduate students can spend some of their research time at ORNL. The institutions recently collaborated on joint faculty research, teaching and student work, and this formal agreement builds on that success, officials said.

Brown has strong programs in physics, chemistry and engineering and is home to the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, one of 29 research and education centers funded by the National Science Foundation for the investigation of new materials for commercial use and the training of the next generation of materials scientists. Brown also supports the Center for Advanced Materials Research, which fosters research and teaching in materials science across the campus and across the country. The center features several shared facilities, including microelectronics, electron microscopy and a laboratory for nano- and micromechanics. The university has recently expanded its lab and academic space and created several major research initiatives, such as the Center for Computational Molecular Biology and the Center for Genomics and Proteomics.

ORNL is the Department of Energy’s largest multipurpose science and energy laboratory and has an annual budget of over $1 billion. Managed by a partnership of the University of Tennessee and Battelle, ORNL is home to the world’s most powerful electron microscope, which can be used to study defects in materials at the atomic scale, and recently completed construction of the Spallation Neutron Source, which will provide the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development. Work at the $1.4-billion complex will help create high-temperature superconductors, powerful lightweight magnets, aluminum bridge decks, and stronger, lighter plastic products.

“The advantages of this collaboration for Brown are significant,” Zimmer said. “Oak Ridge National Laboratory contains scientific expertise and instrumentation that cannot be reproduced by any university in the country. Our students and faculty will directly benefit from new research opportunities and enhanced education. This is an exciting moment for science at Brown.”

The initial agreement between Brown and ORNL is for three years and may be extended. While the initial focus will be in materials science, it can be expanded into other areas, such as energy and computational biology, officials said.

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Jun 2006
agreementBasic ScienceBrown Universityelectron microscopeindustrialjoint researchmaterialsmaterials sciencemicroelectronicsmicromechanicsMicroscopyNews & FeaturesOak Ridge National LaboratoryORNLsuperconductors

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