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National Science Foundation Funds UT’s Big Idea in Small Engineering

An idea for a new way to test some of the smallest pieces of our planet has earned a large award—more than $2.2 million to be exact—from the National Science Foundation for a pair of University of Tennessee, Knoxville, engineering professors.

George Pharr and Erik Herbert, both of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, helped come up with the concept for the “Development of and Broad-Based Materials Research with the Next Generation Nanomechanical Testing Laboratory” along with Warren Oliver of Nanomechanics Inc.

“This is a huge coup for our university, especially because it comes in the highly competitive realm of proposals worth more than one million dollars,” said Kurt Sickafus, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “This award and the work accomplished with it has the potential to impact advanced materials research across the world.”

Their idea, in the simplest of terms, seeks to address the next generation of nanomaterials studies by looking at what tools will be needed and doing so with a wide-ranging appeal across their field.

Continue reading at Tennessee Today.