The College of Engineering’s Amanda Krause and Rosalyn Abbott were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grants for their research. The NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program awards grants to “early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”
Amanda Krause, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has been awarded a five-year NSF CAREER grant for her research in ceramic materials. Her work investigates the process in which grains, microscopic crystals that compose most ceramics, grow in high temperature conditions. Grain size is important for controlling material properties such as crack resistance, which is needed to improve the performance and lifetime of high-tech devices like airplane engines and microprocessors. A better understanding of grain growth processes when heated will help develop newer and more effective processing methods for ceramics and hopefully yield tougher and more reliable products. Krause’s research also focuses on building a creative workforce via educational programs, both for engineering and pre-collegiate students. The aim of this outreach is to spark divergent thinking and offer interdisciplinary training that will create innovative ceramic engineers that are capable of solving future materials challenges.
Rosalyn Abbott, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, also received the NSF CAREER grant for her work in developing cultured meat as a way to combat the environmental, public health, and food security issues that accompany regular protein consumption. This research looks at the 3D structures of the animal meat tissues, specifically how fat is stored, and aims to recreate an artificial meat product that mimics these properties and structures. This will allow this meat substitute to be more realistic and palatable, and subsequently, be more accepted by consumers. Abbott also seeks to increase consumer awareness of the current state of the animal meat supply chain through educational outreach, which she hopes will help steer consumers towards this solution.