Dr. Dong Lin, assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering  at Kansas State University and Dr. Cuncong Zhong, assistant professor of Bioengineering at the University of Kansas, both 2019 Kansas NSF EPSCoR First Award recipients, have been awarded an NSF Faculty Early Career Development award (CAREER). The NSF CAREER awards are the most prestigious NSF awards and are granted to early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic leaders in research and education and whose research leads to advances in the mission of their department and institution.

Dr. Lin’s project is titled CAREER: Bio-inspired Manufacturing of High Strength, High Toughness Metal-Graphene Composites.  His award abstract reads as follows: “This Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant focuses on research in the manufacturing of bio-inspired metal-graphene composites that have both high strength and high toughness. Due to their lightweight and high strength, metal matrix composites are increasingly used in automotive, aerospace, electronics packaging and thermal management applications. Attaining both high strength and high toughness is an essential requirement for many structural applications. However, it is a significant challenge for metal matrix composites to have both. Nature-evolved, damage-tolerant materials such as nacre, bone, and wood are both strong and tough because of their hierarchical composite structure. Unlike bone and wood, which have complex microstructures, nacre exhibits superior mechanical properties with a simple composite microstructure. The toughness of nacre is three orders of magnitude higher than that of its main constituent aragonite owing to its hierarchical brick-and-mortar microstructure. This project investigates a novel manufacturing technique to engineer nacre- or bio-inspired three-dimensional metal-graphene composites… using computational and experimental capabilities to understand the strengthening and toughening mechanisms in these materials.”  

To Learn more about Dr. Lin’s project go to:  NSF Award Abstract #1943445

Dr. Dong Lin

Kansas State Univerity

Dr. Cuncong Zhong

University of Kansas

“Dr. Concong Zhong titled his project CAREER: A Novel Bioinformatic Infrastructure for Metagenome Assembly and Functional Annotation.  Part of his abstract reads as follows: “Understanding the behavior of microbes plays a crucial role in environmental monitoring, renewable energy, agriculture, and medicine. Metagenomics sequences the complete genomes of all microbes residing in an ecological niche as a whole, allowing for a comprehensive and unbiased investigation into the community?s function and taxonomy. However, the bioinformatic analysis of the resulted sequence data remains challenging due to its high volume and complexity. The main goal of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) project is to develop efficient and accurate computational methods for the analysis of metagenomics data and to develop the corresponding bioinformatics sections for the University of Kansas STEM outreach programs.”

To learn more about Dr. Zhong’s project go to award abstract #1943291