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Professor Researching Next Generation of High-Strength Metals Receives NSF CAREER Award

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The grant supports Jason Trelewicz’s work that may impact the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries

 Jason Trelewicz uses advanced powder metallurgy techniques to design and synthesize novel metallic glass alloys in his laboratory at Stony Brook University.
Jason Trelewicz uses advanced powder metallurgy techniques to design and synthesize novel metallic glass alloys in his laboratory at Stony Brook University.

March 14, 2016Jason Trelewicz, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University (SBU), has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award will help to advance his research aimed at transforming applications of high-strength metals.

Trelewicz, a member of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), will receive NSF CAREER funding of $500,000 over the next five years to support his project, titled “Interface Engineered Amorphous Alloys for Thermoplastic Forming of Ductile Bulk Metallic Glasses.”

According to the NSF, the CAREER Award is given to promising young university faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research.

Trelewicz’ research centers on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nanostructured and amorphous metals through computational modeling and materials science experimentation. Commonplace metals such as aluminum or steel are made up of atoms that are arranged in a regular, periodic structure. Amorphous metals on the other hand, exhibit a highly disordered atomic structure akin to a glass, and are consequently referred to as metallic glasses.

This relatively new class of materials, often used in products such as USB drives, medical and sporting equipment, has shown great promise as next-generation high-strength materials with applications in the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries. A problem that continues to plague metallic glasses is that they tend to be very brittle and can fail catastrophically. Processing routes for bulk manufacturing of these materials are also quite limited.

Trelewicz hopes to turn these problems with metallic glasses into opportunities for improvement with his new research. Under the NSF CAREER program, he will use atomistic simulations to design, atom-by-atom, novel interface engineered amorphous alloys. These alloys will be manufactured and characterized to develop a new understanding of the deformation mechanisms at the nanoscale.

“The goal of the research will be to engineer interfaces into metallic glasses to enhance their strength, toughness, and formability,” said Trelewicz. “Using integrated materials engineering principles, we will design novel metallic glasses with superior properties that can be manufactured at large-scales.”

“Being recognized with the prestigious CAREER Award speaks volumes about Jason’s research vision,” said CEAS Dean Fotis Sotiropoulos. “This funding enables him to integrate research topics on the unique properties of metallic glasses into the undergraduate Material Science curricula offered by CEAS. It also provides an opportunity to engage underrepresented students and regional high schools in cutting-edge research.”

The broader impact of the research, says Trelewicz, is that society will be greatly impacted by metallic glasses that can be manufactured and optimized for applications as advanced structural and electronic materials.

“These materials have the potential to revolutionize sheet metal production used in industries that transform the ways we travel, build, and communicate,” he explained.

A faculty member at Stony Brook since 2012, Trelewicz is the Director of the Engineered Metallic Nanostructures Laboratory, an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Advanced Computational Science, and he is the Director of the NYSTAR-funded High Performance Computing Consortium at SBU.

Trelewicz earned his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. Prior to joining the faculty at Stony Brook, he was a Research Director at MesoScribe Technologies, Inc. He is the recipient of the 2015 Young Leader Professional Development Award and 2014 Emerging Leaders Alliance Award from The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), and received the Top Speaker Award at the 2010 Defense Manufacturing Conference.

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