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Rensselaer’s Daniel Lewis Receives NSF CAREER Award

by Editor1 last modified February 22, 2011 - 11:35

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded its Faculty Early Career Development Award to Daniel Lewis, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rensselaer’s Daniel Lewis Receives NSF CAREER Award

Dr Lewis will use the projected five-year, $630,000 award to understand how ceramic and metallic materials behave at high temperatures.

Dr. Lewis leads Rensselaer’s Physical Metallurgy and Computational Microstructure Lab, as well as the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research Lab. He is also a member of the university's Center for Future Energy Systems.

"NSF CAREER Awards are reserved for the nation's most promising young researchers. We applaud Dan's achievements, and look forward to his many future successes," said David Rosowsky, dean of the Rensselaer School of Engineering.

More About Dr Lewis’ NSF CAREER Project
Dr. Lewis’ CAREER project is "Grain Growth and Topological Evolution of Polycrystals," and will focus on using a new approach to investigate the long-standing problem of grain growth in metallic and ceramic materials.

Certain properties of metallic and ceramic materials are strongly dependent on the size of the grains, or crystallites, that make up the bulk material. Environmental factors, such as exposure to high temperatures, can impact the grain size over time. In some cases, this change in grain size can lead to extensive damage or failure in metals or ceramics.

Dr. Lewis will conduct simulations using the Rensselaer supercomputing center, the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), and physical experiments to characterize and better understand the kinetics and thermodynamics of grain growth in metallic materials.

Notably, the research will include participation from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, including some undergraduate student-led research projects, Dr. Lewis said.

The NSF CAREER Award is given to faculty members at the beginning of their academic careers and is one of NSF's most competitive awards, placing emphasis on high-quality research and novel education initiatives.

Lewis received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, in materials science and engineering, from Lehigh University, and joined the Rensselaer faculty in 2005. Prior to joining Rensselaer, Dr. Lewis was a researcher at GE Global Research. His work focused on oxidation performance and deformation processing of advanced ferritic materials for SOFC interconnects. In addition, he studied the metallurgy and electrical properties of amorphous and nano-crystalline soft magnetic materials, oxidation resistant coatings for superalloys, and infrared heating technology development.