From the Department of Chemistry website:
Funding continues for one of the university’s oldest and largest multi-disciplinary research centers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed, for the third time, grant funding for the 16-year-old Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). The new six-year grant is $17.8 million.
The University’s MRSEC, one of about 25 such centers in the country, is directed by Timothy Lodge, a Regents Professor in both the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. It was originally funded in 1998, with grants renewed in 2002 and 2008.
MRSECs are somewhat unique: there is no maximum on the number of times that the NSF can renew funding; and research is not focused on one broad topic. Instead, the research can focus on different issues. With the new funding, the University’s MRSEC has three distinct foci, clustered in what are called Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRG). They will involve 27 faculty researchers from five different departments in the highly-collaborative College of Science & Engineering, including Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics.
Professor Theresa Reineke from the Department of Chemistry is leading the third IRG, Hierarchical Multifunctional Macromolecular Materials, concentrating on assembling polymeric materials with superior properties that can be used for a variety of diverse applications such as water treatment, fuel cell membranes, gene therapy, and intricate circuit manufacturing.