Mechanical engineers receive $11 million in MURI research awards

June 17, 2004

University Park, Pa. -- Two Penn State mechanical engineers have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Defense's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program with a combined total of $11 million.

Kenneth Kuo, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering, is the principal investigator of "Fundamental Understanding of Propellant/Nozzle Interaction to Mitigate Erosion for Very High Pressure Missile Propellant Applications." Richard Yetter, professor of mechanical engineering, is the co-principal investigator on the five-year, $6 million MURI award from the Office of Naval Research.

The proposal seeks to understand how greater pressures and higher temperatures from a rocket's motor affect the erosion rate of the nozzle throat and thrust level generated. New insight from the research would allow engineers to design and build faster, more efficient rockets.

The research team includes experts from Penn State, Ohio State, Emory University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin and Georgia Tech.

Yetter is the principal investigator of "A Unified Multiscale Approach for Nano-Engineered Energetic Materials." The proposal was given a five-year, $5 million MURI award by the Army Research Office. Kuo serves as the co-principal investigator.

The project will investigate new methodologies for developing energetic material formulations with control of all constituents on all length scales from a nanometer to a millimeter and larger. The team will research new methods employing the latest techniques in molecular self-assembly and supramolecular control for synthesizing and assembling nano-structured energetic materials.

The materials team includes researchers from Penn State, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Southern California.

The Penn State MURI awards are two of only 31 grants made by the Department of Defense to universities to study areas of basic science and engineering. The 31 awardees were selected from a pool of 116 full proposals submitted to the Pentagon.

The MURI program is designed to address large, multidisciplinary topic areas representing exceptional opportunities for future Department of Defense applications and technology applications. The awards provide long-term support for research, graduate students, and laboratory equipment development that supports specific science and engineering research themes vital to national defense.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009