Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering News

Zachariah Named on 2018 MURI Award

Zachariah Named on 2018 MURI Award

Professor Michael Zachariah. Photo: John T. Consoli
Professor Michael Zachariah. Photo: John T. Consoli

Michael Zachariah, professor of the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, is a member of a 2018 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award.

The Department of Defense (DoD)’s MURI program addresses high-risk basic research and attempts to understand or achieve something that has never been done before. DoD announced that it will issue 24 awards in 2018 totaling $169 million—a six million dollar increase above last year’s total—to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research.

Zachariah is a member of a team that will research piezoelectric energetics (piezoenergetics, or PEs) and their potential for a new generation of smart propellants and pyrotechnics with multifunctional capabilities that can be actively controlled via external stimuli.

According to the research team, the fundamental physics and chemistry governing energy transfer, energy repartitioning, and chemical reactions/kinetics resulting from external stimulation of PEs are not well understood. It is envisioned that, by coupling piezoelectric behavior and nanoenergetics, truly smart and switchable materials can result. Specifically, the team envisions reactive piezoelectric materials with multifunctional properties with reactivity and microstructure that can be controlled and altered by external stimuli including stress, temperature, or electromagnetic fields, while enabling integrated in situ sensing.

The MURI program was initiated more than 25 years ago, and it has regularly produced significant scientific breakthroughs with far-reaching consequences to the fields of science, economic growth, and revolutionary new military technologies.

Zachariah’s primary appointments are in UMD’s Departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry & Biochemistry. He has affiliate appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering.

April 24, 2018


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