The traditional home for research on materials at the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) is the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). The LRSM is an autonomous entity, with its own building and laboratory space, which was created specifically to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research on the PENN campus. The LRSM receives funding from PENN and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at PENN. The principal investigator on the NSF grant is Eric Stach, Director of the LRSM. The MRSEC provides core support for selected Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) and seed projects to pursue a range of fundamental materials problems, involving collaborations with industry and National Laboratories. In addition, the LRSM is developing new-shared experimental facilities (SEFs) both in-house and at National Laboratories. The LRSM is also helping to sustain SEFs that are vital tools for the local materials research community. The LRSM maintains a broad range of innovative educational outreach activities to the materials community, local colleges, and high schools. The LRSM runs a vigorous summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, with a special emphasis on participation by women and under-represented groups.
The LRSM is funded as a MRSEC (NSF grant DMR-1720530), with a focus on both "soft" & "hard" materials. The four IRGs that currently comprise the RESEARCH at the PENN MRSEC are:
- Rearrangements & Softness in Disordered Solids
- Structural Chemo-Mechanics of Fibrous Networks
- Pluperfect Nanocrystal Architectures
The LRSM MRSEC brings together departments and disciplines from all over PENN's campus to collaborate in research, symposia, workshops and other outreach.
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Shared Experimental Facilities play an important role in promoting collaboration and outreach and are a focal point for knowledge transfer to industry and graduate education.
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The LRSM has a strong collaboration with industry, other centers, universities and other sectors.
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