UCSB recently received a grant for $15 million from the Dow Chemical Company to develop new technology through advanced scientific research.

Specifically, the grant will provide the means to establish a Dow Materials Institute that will be located in the UCSB Materials Research Laboratory which is a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. UCSB’s materials program is nationally ranked, placing UCSB among the top 11 U.S. research universities awarded a partnership with the Dow Chemical Company.

UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang related the impressive statistics regarding UCSB’s standing as an elite research university.

“Our campus is very highly ranked in the field of materialsm,” Yang said. “In fact, the National Research Council ranked our doctoral program in materials number one over its entire range; it was the only science or engineering department in the country to be ranked so highly.”

According to Craig Hawker, director of the MRL, the new institute’s research will focus on a wide variety of topics relating to the materials field.

“[The research conducted in the new institute will be] primarily in the discovery of new catalysts, characterization techniques and synthetic strategies for the design of advanced polymeric materials to be used in fabrication of next-generation microelectronics, coatings and elastomers,” Hawker said.

In addition to funding research, the grant will also directly aid doctoral students.

“The five-year award from Dow Chemical also includes a $2 million endowment to provide ongoing funding for Dow Discovery Fellowships, which will support doctoral students in our Chemical Engineering Dept. who are working on solutions to important and challenging engineering problems,” Yang said.

The applications of materials research range from helping develop innovative products to enhancing manufacturing processes.

“[The grant] provides us with the opportunity to transition the fundamental research supported by the MRL to applied problems that will benefit the U.S. economy,” Hawker said.

According to Yang, the grant is a point of pride for UCSB as well as an opportunity to continue important scientific research.

“We are very excited about the creation of the new Dow Materials Institute on our campus under the visionary leadership of professor Craig Hawker,” Yang said. “We are honored by this significant investment in our campus by Dow Chemical. I appreciate the contributions of all of our colleagues and students across our campus who will play an important role in the success of this institute.”