August 12, 2022
ALFRED, NY – Senator Chuck Schumer visited and took a tour of the Engineering Building Friday afternoon at Alfred University. While there, Schumer spoke with students, professors and Alfred Univ President Dr. Mark Zupan, about Alfred University will be receiving $4,000,000 for advanced ceramics material research, for the U.S. Army. Alfred Univ will be researching hypersonic vehicle like missiles.
Schumer noted that A.U. is a leader in advanced ceramics research and ceramic engineering, and is one of the only schools with such a rigorous ceramics engineering program. The senator and Alfred University’s Gabrielle Gaustad (Dean of the university’s Inamori School of Engineering) noted that the materials that will be used in some projects, must be able to withstand speeds greater than Mach 5.
“We are deeply grateful to Senator Schumer for his support of this project,” said Mark Zupan, Alfred University president. “This partnership with the Army Research Laboratory affirms Alfred University’s standing as a leader in ultra-high temperature ceramic materials research.”
“This has the potential to be one of the most significant research awards Alfred University has ever landed,” said Gabrielle Gaustad, Dean of Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering. “The resources provided by this collaboration could change the trajectory of our ceramic engineering and materials science programs in very exciting ways.”
This partnership between Alfred University and the U.S. Army will identify key objectives in the ceramics space to better understand the impacts of hypersonic technology. This work will include developing new ceramic materials required by the Army for extreme environments, investigating innovative processing methods to allow ceramic technology to withstand ultra-high temperatures radiated from hypersonic tech, and to develop breakthrough advanced novel materials and techniques for future ultra-high temperature ceramics technology. All of these are critical objectives for the U.S. Army to better prepare the country for the future of hypersonics, led by the Southern Tier’s Alfred University.
Schumer explained that due to their high-temperature performance, toughness, and lightweight, ceramic materials are a necessary component of systems being developed by the Army. The research at Alfred University will focus on conducting high temperature characterization of UHTC materials used in defense systems to improve performance. These materials must be able to withstand the extreme temperatures that result from traveling at speeds greater than Mach 5. This research and development is are of particular need for countering hypersonic vehicles used in weapons systems being developed internationally—particularly those originating in China and Russia— that represent a growing threat to our national security. The $4 million in federal funding represents one of the largest research allocations Alfred University has ever received from the federal government for a single project.
Schumer has been a leading champion for promoting increases for scientific research at the federal level. In his Chips and Science Bill, that was just signed into law this week, Schumer secured historic increases for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research and Development Programs, including investment for a new technology directorate as proposed in Schumer’s original bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, and STEM education and training programs. Schumer said the Southern Tier top research schools like Alfred University, Binghamton University, Cornell, and others would be able to tap the increased investment for the NSF. Plus, Community colleges like SUNY Corning would also be able to utilize new investment for workforce training, especially for the manufacturing industry.