FSU wins Center of Excellence in Advanced Materials

The Florida Board of Governors has approved Florida State University’s proposal to receive $4 million in support of a Center of Excellence in Advanced Materials (CEAM).

The new FSU center will develop technologies to make new materials that are stronger, lighter, multifunctional and affordable, said Vice President for Research Kirby Kemper. CEAM also will provide training statewide to prepare a strong workforce base to attract
advanced material industries to the state.

"We’ve long had a strong reputation for our work in the field of materials science," Kemper said. "We are very pleased to be able to create this new center because it complements two other major efforts already under way at the university in advanced materials."

FSU is about to construct a new, $17 million materials research building in the Innovation Park area and has approved a "cluster hire" of six professors who will be recruited to join the faculty in the field of materials research.

FSU’s proposal was one of six recommended for funding out of 32 by the Florida Technology, Research and Scholarship Board and subsequently approved by the BOG. Engineering Professor Ben Wang, program manager for the new center, said its mission is to turn intellectual achievement into practical, commercial applications and to train students who will then create high-tech companies to develop and manufacture the new materials.

"We are very excited about what this Center of Excellence in Advanced Materials will do for Florida State University, Tallahassee and the state of Florida," Wang said. "We see this as having a profound and far-reaching impact across the nation and the state and foresee this creating jobs and economic opportunities."

In its proposal, Florida State emphasized its commitment to building a materials research facility and stressed the Pathways of Excellence initiative, which will bring outstanding faculty and researchers to the university’s materials research program.

"We also stated in our proposal that we are establishing a new graduate degree program in materials research," Wang said. "All of these initiatives played an important role in Florida State University receiving this Center of Excellence award."

Other SUS Centers of Excellence winners were:

  • University of South Florida—$8 million; biomolecular research.
  • Florida Atlantic University—$5 million; ocean energy research.
  • University of Florida—$4.5 million; energy technology incubator.
  • University of Central Florida—$4.5 million; laser technology.
  • University of Florida—$4 million; nano-bio sensors.