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National University of Singapore Launches Functional Intelligent Materials Research Center

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SINGAPORE, Oct. 20, 2021 — The National University of Singapore (NUS) has launched the Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials (I-FIM), an institute dedicated to the design, synthesis, and application of functional intelligent materials.

Nobel Prize-winning materials scientist Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov and Distinguished Professor Antonio Castro Neto will co-direct the center. I-FIM will be the sixth research center of excellence (RCE) in Singapore and the fourth RCE hosted at NUS.
Education Minister Mr Chan Chun Sing (third from left) launched the NUS Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials (I-FIM), accompanied by (left to right) Prof Sir Konstantin Novoselov, I-FIM Director; Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Chairman of NUS Board of Trustees; and Prof Tan Eng Chye, NUS President. Courtesy of NUS.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing (third from left) launched the NUS Institute for Functional Intelligent Materials (I-FIM), accompanied by (left to right) Sir Konstantin Novoselov, I-FIM director; Hsieh Fu Hua, chairman of NUS board of trustees; and Tan Eng Chye, NUS president. Courtesy of NUS.

FIMs are materials that do not have static properties. For example, steel has a fixed strength, shape, and conductivity regardless of its environment. Emergent technologies need materials that can adapt, have memory functions, and have properties that change depending on the environment. These types of materials are crucial for the development of technologies such as artificial organs and tissues, smart membranes, and smart batteries and catalysts.

“Currently, materials scientists can only describe the properties of materials when they are in energetic equilibrium. To describe dynamic, out-of-equilibrium properties of functional intelligent materials requires new approaches in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and engineering. That is the goal of I-FIM,” Novoselov said.

The center will have over 100 researchers and Ph.D. students working in its research facilities, which are housed in the new S9 building on the NUS Kent Ridge campus. The center will offer 50 Ph.D. scholarships and more than 100 postdoctoral fellowships over the next 10 years.

I-FIM is supported with a total investment of 200 million SGD (100 million SGD  = $741.75 million) over 10 years, with the Singapore Ministry of Education providing 100 million SGD and a matching contribution of an equivalent of 100 million SGD from NUS.

Photonics.com
Oct 2021
BusinesseducationCenter of Excellenceresearch centermaterialsintelligent materialsfunctional intelligent materialsFIMI-FIMNational University of SingaporeNUSKonstantin NovoselovAntonio Castro Netoscholarshippostdoctoral researchKent RidgeS9 buidling

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