Department of Energy Awards $1.7M to Fayetteville State University and North Carolina A&T University for Materials Research in Energy Technology

Date: October 05, 2023

Dr. Bhoj Gautam
Dr. Bhoj Gautam, Ph.D. FSU Associate Professor for the Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Materials Science

Fayetteville, NC (October 5, 2023) — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $1.7 M to Fayetteville State University (FSU) and North Carolina A &T University (NC A&T) through Basic Energy Sciences - Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (BES-RENEW) initiative for the project entitled “Structure Property Relationships in Two-Dimensional MXenes”. This award is part of the DOE’s $70 million funding to support research by historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to diversify leadership in the physical sciences. The funding through this RENEW initiative will support talented and motivated students from FSU and NC A&T to follow their passions for science, energy, and innovation.

This collaborative project between FSU, NC A&T, and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is led by FSU under the direction of Dr. Bhoj Gautam, Associate Professor of Physics from the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science (DCPMS) as the principal investigator (PI), with Dr. Daniel E. Autrey, Dr. Shubo Han and Dr. Chandra Adhikari from the DCPMS at FSU, Dr. Bishnu Bastakoti from NC A&T, and Dr. Binod Rai from SRNL serving as co-principal investigators (co-PIs). This project aims to enhance the amount of energy-related materials science research at FSU and NC A&T through collaboration with SRNL and increase the exposure of these institutions to the scientific community to help establish their presence in the energy-technology area. The underrepresented student populations with minorities, women, and military students in multiple science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at FSU and NC A&T will have essential opportunities to understand research techniques and methodologies through this project. Students will be better prepared for graduate schools in STEM fields and the workforce by training them in the fundamentals of materials synthesis, material processing, photophysics, electrochemistry, magnetism, simulations, and theoretical calculations. The project will increase the participation of underrepresented groups in BES’s research portfolio and advance a diverse, equitable, and inclusive research community.

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