A new $3 million award from the National Science Foundation seeks to harness data science for catalyst design. This prestigious NSF Research Traineeship program (or NRT for short) will launch a paradigm-shifting model for graduate training at the University of Kansas for students in chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science.
Kevin Leonard, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering (second from left in photo), leads the five-year project. Co-principal investigators on the team include Assistant Professor James Blakemore in chemistry, Professor Bo Luo in electrical engineering, Distinguished Professor Bala Subramaniam in chemical engineering, and Andrew Williams, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the School of Engineering. Education Director Claudia Bode will help launch the program's new curricular enhancements.
By leveraging the power of data mining and machine learning, the program has the potential to transform how researchers design and develop catalytic systems for difficult chemistries.
“I think this program will be a great addition to our graduate student education and research mission,” said Leonard.
Two research centers at KU joined forces to initiate and support this traineeship, including the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC) and the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC). CEBC Director Bala Subramaniam and ITTC Director Perry Alexander played key roles in initiating the collaboration.
According to NSF, this traineeship grant encourages bold, new, potentially transformative models for graduate education training in high priority interdisciplinary research areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NSF only funded programs that proposed innovative traineeship models with evidence-based curricular improvements and training aligned with today’s changing workforce and research needs.
Interested students can apply for the first training corhort in October 2019. More details coming soon!