Texas A&M's Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials (D3EM) program -- one of 10 new research traineeships established by the National Science Foundation -- will provide 40 graduate student fellowships as part of a model developed in collaboration with the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence to equip master's and Ph.D. students with the skills to conduct interdisciplinary research in materials science, informatics and engineering design.


Texas A&M University has received a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation for graduate training and research. Texas A&M is one of only 10 institutions recognized nationwide with the award among the approximately 200 proposals received by the NSF for the current funding cycle.

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program titled "Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials (D3EM)" will provide approximately 40 NRT fellowships over a period of five years to graduate students from six different Texas A&M departments within the Dwight Look College of Engineering and College of Science: Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy. In addition to the NRT fellows, D3EM will support two Ph.D. students who will evaluate the pedagogical impact of the program.

"This NRT program constitutes a valuable opportunity for the creation of a novel interdisciplinary graduate training program that places Texas A&M at the forefront of STEM graduate training," said Dr. Raymundo Arróyave, principal investigator and associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The D3EM team will join forces to develop the graduate curriculum with a pedagogical model developed in partnership with the Texas A&M Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). The program will create a new training model to equip M.S and Ph.D. students with the skills to conduct interdisciplinary research in materials science, informatics and engineering design. Moreover, the interdisciplinary curriculum will also include energy and entrepreneurship-related courses and activities through partnerships with the Texas A&M Energy Institute and the Mays Business School Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

"There is a growing need to accelerate materials discovery and development, particularly in energy-related technologies. We need to instill in scientists and engineers the capability to transform data into knowledge, and use this to discover and design advanced materials," Arróyave said. "That way, they can truly internalize the interdisciplinary research process. The D3EM program addresses all these needs. More importantly, D3EM will help catalyze new collaborative research opportunities among participating faculty."

Arróyave's co-investigators include Dr. Joseph H. Ross, professor, Physics and Astronomy; Dr. Debra Fowler, CTE associate director; Dr. Richard Malak, associate professor and Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow I, Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Edward Dougherty, Robert M. Kennedy '26 Chair Professor and Distinguished Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus, assistant professor and holder of the William and Ruth Neely Faculty Fellowship, Chemical Engineering; Dr. Miladin Radovic, associate professor and associate department head, Materials Science and Engineering; Dr. Hongcai Joe Zhou, Robert A. Welch Chair, Chemistry; and Dr. Douglas Allaire, assistant professor, Mechanical Engineering; are also members of the core team responsible for the design and deployment of D3EM.

Other D3EM-affiliated faculty include Ibrahim Karaman, Department Head, Materials Science and Engineering: Patrick Shamberger, assistant professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Dimitris Lagoudas, Senior Associate Dean for Research; Alan Needleman, professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Sarbajit Banerjee, professor, Chemistry; and Tahir Cagin, professor, Materials Science and Engineering.

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About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $820 million in FY 2013, ranking Texas A&M in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation's most recent survey of research and development expenditures among U.S. colleges and universities. Recently reported FY 2014 research expenditures exceed $854 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental, and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.


Contact: Shraddha Sankhe, (979) 845-6056 or shraddha@tamu.edu

Sankhe Shraddha

  • Credit: Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials (D3EM) Program.

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