Diego Diaz / Asst. News Director
FIU’s College of Engineering & Computing announced on Nov. 8, its acquisition of a five-year, $22.9 million grant courtesy of the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory.
The grant is aimed at advancing research towards manufacturing technologies that will aid in the repair, design, and durability of materials utilized in the manufacturing of next-generation vehicles and munitions.
“There is much potential for advancing this highly innovative technique,” said Arvind Agarwal, FIU Department of Mechanical and Materials engineering chair, in an interview with FIU News.
Notably, the grant also establishes the creation of a state-of-the-art Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition laboratory at FIU’s Engineering Campus, the first of its kind at any Florida public university.
“The research at FIU will primarily focus on the development of high-performance metallic materials, which are lightweight and of ultra-great strength, using Rapid Advanced Deposition techniques including wire arc, solid-state cold spray and friction-stir additive manufacturing,” said the director of the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute to FIU News.
Utilizing advanced automotive technology, the lab will be able to print solid 3D parts in minutes, and substantially increase the durability of parts through the application of RAD techniques.
The lab’s research will aid in advancing the understanding of the manufacturing process, while also developing tools and techniques that will allow for the rapid and cost-efficient repair or construction of materials.
This research also reinforces FIU’s position within the US military’s research and development processes.
The grant received bipartisan support from Florida’s federal Congressional officials.
“This important investment by the Army in Miami’s public research university will bolster America’s defense readiness, create good jobs, and help grow South Florida’s burgeoning technology sector,”said Democrat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations subcommittee, to FIU News.
Republican U.S Senator Marco Rubio also publicly expressed support for the initiative.
“FIU is providing solutions to help maintain our force’s defense readiness, while further advancing innovation and creating dignified jobs for our workforce in Florida,” said Rubio to FIU News.