May and Taheri Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Published on Wednesday February 8, 2012

Hoeganaes Assistant Professor Mitra Taheri and Assistant Professor Steven May have both received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development grant (NSF-CAREER).  These are two new NSF-CAREER awards out of a total of three received by Drexel University so far this year.  The NSF-CAREER awards are the most prestigious awards given to junior faculty by NSF in support of work at the intersection of research, education, and outreach.

May's award, "CAREER: Octahedral Control of Electronic Properties in Semiconducting Perovskite Heterostructures," deals with complex oxide thin films.  Due to their ubiquity, societal importance, and strong dependence of structure on properties, complex oxides are an ideal family of compounds to address the challenge of designing and controlling the atomic structure of materials in order to achieve a desired macroscopic property.  This project aims to stabilize complex oxide thin films in non-equilibrium atomic structures in order to control electronic properties relevant to applications ranging from solar energy conversion to optoelectronics.  May will receive $500K over a five-year period from NSF's Division of Materials Research to conduct his research.

With "CAREER: The Role of Grain Boundary Character in Corrosion Behavior: Linking Atomic Scale Interfacial Structure to Precipitation and Failure Mechanisms," Taheri will develop an understanding of the atomic scale grain boundary structure dependence of corrosion enhancing precipitation in fcc metals.  Corrosion has a devastating effect on many industries, including nuclear, naval ship structures, and off-shore wind turbines.  The results generated from this study will serve as a predictive tool for developing future alloys resistant to deleterious intergranular precipitation in extreme environments.  Taheri will also develop a program, named "TURBINE" (Transforming Underrepresented Research Basis in Engineering), for local high school minority and female students to learn about future careers in energy-related fields to spur an interest in research and development and engineering education/training for a future economy both in Philadelphia and globally.  The five-year award from NSF's Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation is in the amount of $400K.

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