New Graduate Program On Advanced Optical Materials Gets Grant

A new program that will train graduate students in emerging areas of optical materials technology and engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara has received a $2.52 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The multidisciplinary graduate training program proposed by Nicola Hill, assistant professor of materials, and David J. Pine, professor of chemical engineering and materials, was one of 19 Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grants awarded recently. The funds will be disbursed over five years.

UC Santa Barbara's program bridges research on new optical materials with device fabrication and testing. Graduate research training will focus on two areas of great scientific interest and commercial promise: photonic optical circuits and nitride-based semiconductors.

Students will work with industrial and national laboratory partners, as well as gain entrepreneurial skills for creating high-technology small businesses.

A specific program goal is to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in science and engineering through recruitment, mentoring, additional educational opportunities and research experiences for undergraduates.

Faculty and students from five departments will be part of UC Santa Barbara's IGERT program and will be structured to promote interactions among multidisciplinary teams.Now in its third year, the NSF's IGERT program is designed to meet the challenges of educating Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the multidisciplinary backgrounds and the technical, professional and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future.The National Science Foundation is an independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting science and engineering through programs that invest over $3.3 billion per year in almost 20,000 research and education projects in science and engineering.

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