From North Dakota, the ‘prairie ocean’: U.S. Navy research
DoD grant lets UND research new materials for, among other uses, building ships
A UND researcher has received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research to study advanced manufacturing processes.
The award, which will provide funding over three years, comes as part of the DoD’s Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) program. Sougata Roy, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at the College of Engineering & Mines at UND, has been named principal investigator on the research project, and will partner with Peter Collins, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University, and Andrzej Nycz, a research and development staff member from the Oak Ridge National Lab in carrying out the project.
Officially, the research aims to “develop a framework for next generation hybrid additive manufacturing process by leveraging novel synergistic approach combining multiscale DED (directed energy deposition) processes.” That means Roy and his research team will study how combinations of different energy sources, an electric arc or laser, for example, pair with different feedstock in either powder or wire form to manufacture metallic components of interest to the U.S. Navy.
“We believe the findings we will get from this study will be the foundation for that,” said Roy. “That’s the overall goal for this project.”
According to a DoD release, the DEPSCoR program is a capacity-building program designed to strengthen the research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in states and territories that are not typically the beneficiaries of federal research dollars.
“The Department’s research mission relies on an ecosystem of creative and insightful researchers in every State of the nation,” said Bindu Nair, director of the DoD’s Basic Research Office. “DEPSCoR enhances our science and engineering research capacity both now and in the long term, and increases the number of researchers pursing research in DoD-relevant areas. It is crucial that we build a research infrastructure that strategically uses the research capabilities found across the country.”
Roy said the researchers are free to think big while at work, as the results may have implications on how to manufacture large-scale components for naval vessels. Results from the research may also find a home in other industrial areas as well, such as aerospace or automotive manufacturing.
The research funding represents the latest DEPSCoR award to UND. In May, the University received a $1 million grant for advanced materials research, which was the second such grant of its kind at UND.