NSF EPSCOR: RII TRACK-1: Supporting STEM Education, Workforce Training and Economic Growth Through Demonstrations of Advanced Imaging and Characterization Techniques (Participant Support)

Grants and Contracts Details


EOC Project Description EOC PROJECT SUMMARY Title: Supporting STEM education, workforce training and economic growth through demonstrations of advanced imaging and characterization techniques. Principal Investigator: Nicolas J. Briot, PhD Institution: University of Kentucky Overview: The Electron Microscopy Center (EMC) of the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering requests support from the KY NSF EPSCoR program to organize and implement workshops and demonstrations, both in-person and remote, of the possibilities it offers for students, researchers and local companies. The EMC houses top-of-the-art equipment with excellent capabilities, which allows advanced imaging and characterization of complex materials such as those created by additive manufacturing techniques, embedded sensors or miniature electronics. The proposed workshops and demonstrations will leverage this instrumentation to show attendees the level of support that the EMC and the University of Kentucky provides. The proposed workshops and demonstration activities will be designed for multiple profiles of participants: high school students and teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, academic researchers, and local companies evolving in technology and advanced manufacturing. The proposed activities will directly benefit the local economy, not only by meeting scientists and engineers from local companies and familiarizing them to the support network available at Kentucky universities, but also by inspiring young students to follow STEM studies and educate the future workforce of the state of Kentucky. Intellectual Merit: The proposed workshops and demonstrations will prepare students for positions in the local technology industry, by educating them on new types of materials and innovative manufacturing techniques. The knowledge they will gain will give them the tools to be successful after graduation, confident in the level of materials characterization support available to them. Beyond simple demonstrations of its equipment capabilities, the EMC will directly address challenges faced by local companies by examining real samples and discussing practical cases. The insights gained by local scientists and engineers will allow them to refine their techniques, accelerate the development of new technologies and improve their manufacturing processes. Broader Impacts: The proposed workshops will directly benefit the local community, by providing advanced level education about materials characterization to young students in high school, inspiring them to pursue a degree in STEM fields, maybe revealing vocations. The proposed activities will also help undergraduate and graduate student accomplish their objectives, preparing them for a job in the technology industry and boosting their confidence should they have the ambition to create their own company. These workshops will contribute to the preparation of the workforce of tomorrow, positioning the state of Kentucky for success, strengthened by a highly capable pool of graduates.
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/24


  • National Science Foundation


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