Faculty members awarded NSF grant

Published: Aug 8, 2006 4:33:04 PM
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Daniel Kim, assistant professor in materials engineering, was recently awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support a research project involving piezoelectric thin films. Bart Prorok from materials engineering and Minseo Park from physics will also be involved with the project.

"It is an honor to be recognized by the National Science Foundation and to have the opportunity to continue our research towards furthering the science of piezoelectric materials," Kim said.

Piezoelectric materials are those that have the ability to generate a voltage in response to applied mechanical stress. Kim's project focuses on how these materials react when used in the micro-science scale, as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, often referred to as MEMS, structures. The information that results from Kim's work will not only advance the science of materials engineering, but also play a large role in numerous real-world applications.

"This research will help us realize potential applications such as the next generation of biosensors in medicine, actuators for flat panel televisions, sensors and actuators for aircraft safety and performance and automated building health monitoring devices," said Kim.

The NSF grant will be for approximately $300,000 over the next three years. In addition to MEMS research, the team will also be involved in teacher education programs and an outreach project through the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science.