Los Alamos National Laboratory

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National Security Education Center


  • Institute Director
    Dan Thoma
    (505) 663-5627
  • Institute Deputy Director
    Bob Field
    (505) 663-5807
  • Institute Office Manager
    Lynn Chavez
    (505) 663-5233

About MDI

The purpose of the Materials Design Institute (MDI) is to facilitate research and educational collaborations between Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the University of California, Davis (UCD). While this program is a multi-year effort, this agreement continues from an initial 3-month activity between the Weapons Engineering and Manufacturing (WEM) Directorate and the College of Engineering (COE). However, owing to LANL changes, further activities will be between the Institutes Office (under the Principal Associate Directorate of Science, Technology and Engineering, PADSTE).

The educational collaborations will focus on materials design and development. Materials design is defined as the ability to predict and tailor the properties and response of a material for a given engineering application while controlling chemistry and thermo-mechanical history. By working collaboratively with industry and government laboratory partners, LANL and UCD will help solve problems of national importance while also supporting LANL's institutional materials goals.

The goal of this work is to further develop educational opportunities for students through joint collaborative efforts that this contract will sponsor between UCD faculty and LANL staff. Also, discussions will proceed towards the establishment of a Materials Design Institute. The classroom educational focus of the proposed institute will be on the area of modeling and simulation of materials processing-structure-property relationships, with a particular emphasis on linking the experimental components with increasing scale and complexity to arrive at engineering application and performance levels. The educational program will provide students with a new area of technical training that will allow them to accelerate the development of materials for engineering applications. Through the proposed institute a variety of educational training opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students will be developed in concert with UCD and LANL. The applicable programs and potential degrees will be accredited through UCD. Courses will be taught at both UCD and LANL locations by UCD faculty and LANL staff pursuant to appropriate UCD policies. The program will have a multi-disciplinary approach focusing on the combination of materials science, chemistry, applied sciences, and computational simulation. Currently, no other institution offers a degree or program that combines these particular areas with the focus of rapid maturation of materials. Graduate students will also be able to enhance their experience and training in the rapid maturation of materials area of study through participation in UCD-LANL collaborative projects. Other educational programs offered by this institute may include activities such as technician training, short courses, outreach programs, and summer schools for undergraduates across the country.

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