Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Adjust Font Size: Normal Large X-Large

AEM spotlight:

Ryan Elliott receives NSF CAREER award

Paul Dye

Ryan S. Elliott is an Assistant Professor on the Solid Mechanics faculty in AEM.

Prof. Ellad Tadmor and Assistant Prof. Ryan Elliott (AEM), together with Prof. Jim Sethna at Cornell University, have been awarded a four year $2 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a tool that will equip scientists across their field with information that is aimed to ultimately revolutionize their research. The group is chartered to create a Knowledge-base of Interatomic Models (KIM), an "interactive, self-extending, database of interatomic models, self-contained simulation codes that test the predictions of these models, and reference data."

The project also involves establishment of standards for the field in collaboration with NIST. In addition to the PIs, the project includes close collaboration with Prof. Ronald Miller (Carleton University, Canada), Dr. Chandler Becker (NIST) and other key players at national labs, industry and other universities in the U.S. and abroad.

The KIM project is part of the NSF's Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) program. From the NSF Website: "This project aims to answer the question: When and to what extent can we believe the results of atomistic simulations of materials? The project's objectives are of central concern to an unusually large cross-section of the industrial and scientific communities who are interested in understanding materials from their basic building blocks; this includes physicists, materials scientists, chemists, and engineers from academia, government, and industry. The KIM project should initiate a transformative shift in the way researchers think about and perform atomistic materials simulations. The result will be more precise and accurate predictions of materials behavior that will allow for faster and cheaper discovery, design, and optimization of new, specialized technologically-useful materials.

The creation of the KIM system will provide unprecedented standardized access to the state-of-the-art in atomistic modeling and simulation. This access will break down the barrier-to-entry to this field for traditionally underrepresented groups and institutions around the world and facilitate the efforts of industry in the U.S. and internationally to use interatomic models to advance their technological goals. Furthermore, the development of a rigorous methodology of assessing the transferability and accuracy of interatomic models will bring about a paradigm shift in how models are developed, selected, and used. The KIM project will help to train the next generation of scientists and engineers by providing educational experience for post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students at the PIs' home institutions, as well as by conducting educational tutorials and workshops at popular materials conferences and other venues. Finally, the KIM project will "strive to recruit and engage minority and traditionally underrepresented scientists and engineers."

The PIs would like to acknowledge Dr. Anne-Francoise Lamblin for her critical reviews of the research narrative and valuable comments regarding informatics and data management plan. Dr. Lamblin is a bioinformatics scientist and the Coordinator for the University of Minnesota Interdisciplinary Informatics in the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 13:09:10 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation