The Millennium Science Complex will serve as the Penn State University “node” of the new Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics, co-located at Penn State and North Carolina State University, and supported by the National Science Foundation. Credit: Penn State on Flickr (Creative Commons License).

The National Science Foundation is providing close to a million dollars over the next five years for the creation of a new Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP), which will be co-located at Penn State University and North Carolina State University, home to one of the country’s growing colony of manufacturing innovation institutes.

The CDP will receive $830,000 from NSF, along with funding from outside organizations, to create an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center that “builds on and expands” the research capabilities available at Penn State’s Center for Dielectrics Studies (CDS), according to the news release from the Materials Research Institute at Penn State.

“The timing was right to build for a longer term future by establishing many new partnerships and leveraging old partnerships that are undergoing change themselves,” said Clive Randall, director of CDS and co-director of the new center.

The joint collaboration between the two universities seeks to “develop an international leadership position and train next-generation scientists in the fundamental material science and engineering that underpins dielectric and piezoelectric materials.” It also will develop new materials, strategies and testing to support industry.

“Broadly speaking, our goal is to work with industry to address outstanding research questions and contribute to the fundamental knowledge that leads to innovative technologies and products,” said Beth Dickey, co-director of the center and professor of materials science and engineering at NC State, in an NC State blog post. “The center has 18 inaugural industry partners, and we’re working with them to identify areas where their needs and our interdisciplinary expertise overlap to develop a research portfolio,” Dickey says. “This sort of dialogue and planning helps us determine our research priorities.”

For more information on the center’s facilities, faculty, and research areas (“high energy-density electrochemical capacitors for power electronics and the energy grid; dielectrics with low-temperature processing for flexible electronics … and capacitors for extreme environments,” just to name a few), head on over the CDP website.

Update: Both Randall and Dickey are Fellows of ACerS. Dickey also is serving as a Director of the Society. 

Feature Image: Ceramic Capacitor. Credit: Penn State on Flickr (Creative Commons License).