Department of Energy Announces $21 Million to Support Energy-Relevant Research in Underrepresented Regions

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $21 million in funding for 29 new projects through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). By coupling innovative ideas from EPSCoR-eligible institutions with leading-edge capabilities at the DOE national laboratories, the grants are aimed to enhance the research of EPSCoR investigators while building expertise and capabilities that will enable the institutions to compete more successfully for other federal R&D funding. In this way, the DOE EPSCoR program advances the geographic diversity of researchers conducting competitive energy-related research.

Making a Material World Better, Faster Now: Q&A With Materials Project Director Kristin Persson

Berkeley Lab’s Kristin Persson shares her thoughts on what inspired her to launch the Materials Project online database, the future of materials research and machine learning, and how she found her own way into a STEM career.

Even Hard Materials Have Soft Spots

The Achilles Heel of “metallic glasses” is that while they are strong materials—even stronger than conventional steels—they are also very brittle. The initial failures tend to be localized and catastrophic. This is due to their random amorphous (versus ordered crystalline) atomic structure. Computer simulations revealed that the structure is not completely random, however, and that there are some regions in the structure that are relatively weak. Defects nucleate more easily in these regions, which can lead to failure. This understanding of the mechanical properties has led to a strategy for making the material stronger and less brittle.

DOE Issues Small Business Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement

The Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Fiscal Year 2020.