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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 161-04
March 09, 2004

Transformational Instrumentation Research Grants Announced

The Department of Defense announced today the selection of Rice University, Drexel University, and University of California at Berkeley to receive research grants, as a part of its effort to transform research programs to exploit emerging scientific opportunities to be more responsive to DoD needs.

The three awards total approximately $2.8 million in fiscal 2004, and up to $14.7 million over five years. The research grants are a part of the DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which focuses on multidisciplinary research themes vital to national defense. All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between DoD research offices and the academic institutions.

The laboratory instrumentation design research is focused on a systematic and sustained effort aimed at developing the next generation of research tools, as well as a new cadre of scientists and engineers who are experts in the art and science of building instruments, devices, and equipment. The invention and development of new research instruments will lead to advances in scientific innovation and to the discovery of new things that have yet to be explained, such as fast electron dynamics in semiconductors.

The selected awards include a multimodality spectroscope for nanoscale optical imaging the structure of peptides, proteins, and viruses in their native environment; remote nondestructive testing and measurement of power systems for isolating and diagnosing failures in the power grid; and laser instrumentation for attosecond experimentation to probe the fast electron dynamics in electronic devices. These new research tools will revolutionize scientific research and transform our research capabilities to address the urgent need for understanding biological responses to chem-bio agents and for understanding electronic devices for information technology.

Todays announcement is the result of a rigorous merit competition as a part of the DoD MURI program. The awards will provide support for research, graduate students, and laboratory instrumentation development. These awards represent DoDs long-term commitment to supporting basic science research and transformational initiatives.