The University of Akron will work with Sandia National Laboratories to develop new polymer materials.
The master research agreement between the two organizations will boost collaborations in such areas as additive manufacturing and advanced materials research, officials said in a Sept. 19 news release.
Sandia selected Akron, Ohio-based UA because UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering is one of the world's premier academic and research programs, the groups added. UA's capabilities incorporate polymer chemistry and polymer physics groups with specialized labs.
“The powerful combination of diverse university and Sandia capabilities will improve our knowledge of materials structure, properties and performance,” Sandia materials science director Terry Aselage said. He added that Sandia anticipates access to UA's 350-plus polymer science and engineering students and postdocs, who “will foster a strong hiring pipeline for organic chemistry and polymer science and engineering research staff.”
The agreement will allow Sandia and UA researchers to work together in such areas as carbon nanomaterials and conjugated polymer developments. Both parties hope to help develop novel materials in these areas.
Technologies such as carbon nanotube-based coatings will be developed to reduce drag, inhibit ice formation and provide better heat transfer. The agreement also establishes a framework for managing intellectual property that may be developed during the collaborations.
“At the University of Akron we are enthusiastic about the collaboration with Sandia that will enable new discovery and innovation for both institutions,” said Eric Amis, vice provost of research and dean of UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.
The collaboration also will highlight Sandia and UA's shared interest in additive manufacturing research. UA's National Polymer Innovation Center, a facility for advanced polymer processing techniques and roll-to-roll hybrid film fabrication, includes the Akron Functional Materials Center, which focuses on coatings, biomaterials, additive manufacturing and flexible electronics.
Officials said that this capability complements Sandia's advanced manufacturing research, which has the potential to enable model-based design, rapid prototyping, and agile manufacturing of small production lots.
UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering ranks as the largest in the United States with 34 faculty members and almost 350 students in masters and Ph.D. programs. It recently launched a new professional master's degree that blends coursework across polymer science and engineering with classes in business and law.
Sandia National Laboratories has main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif. It's a multi-mission lab operated and managed by Sandia Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp.. Sandia runs the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.