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Particle Accelerator Project Selected for Grant

Proposal Receives $125,000 in Research Funding

Jayant Kumar

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A proposal to develop a new materials science research and user facility using the UMass Lowell Radiation Laboratory’s high-energy ion accelerator has been chosen by UMass President Jack Wilson for funding under the President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund for academic year 2008ߝ09.

Proponents for this interdisciplinary effort include Profs. Partha Chowdhury, James Egan, Gunter Kegel and Jayant Kumar of the Physics Department. Kumar is the principal investigator for the project.

The initiative fund provides seed money for faculty research projects in science and engineering that contribute to the growth of Massachusetts’s economy, especially in technology- and innovation-driven industries. The UMass Lowell project is one of eight selected this year from across all five UMass campuses, and will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Paul Calvert, chair of the Materials Science Department at UMass Dartmouth. The total award amounts to $125,000 for two years.

“The funds will be used primarily to acquire equipment and create a facility that is unique in the region,” says Kumar, who is also director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Advanced Materials. “The facility will expand research programs in priority areas for the campus ߝ nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, optoelectronics and biomedical devices ߝ and promote further collaborations with industry. It will also provide valuable materials processing and characterization services to companies and research centers in New England.”

According to Kumar, the facility’s new capabilities can be utilized across a wide range of applications and industries, such as semiconductor, photonics and micro-array fabrication. “A number of life-sciences applications are also anticipated,” he says.

This is the fifth year for the Science and Technology grants. Thirty-eight projects have received funding worth $5.25 million since the program’s creation in 2004. Past initiatives have gone on to secure more than $85 million in additional external funding for their advanced research.

- Edwin_Aguirre