MatSE Professor Nicola Perry Receives Department of Energy Early Career Research Award
Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) Professor Nicola Perry has received a Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Program grant for her proposal “Chemo-Mechanically Driven In Situ Hierarchical Structure Formation in Mixed Conductors.”
The DOE Early Career Research Program award supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. Early careers are defined as being no more than 10 years between the PI’s Ph.D. and the year of the deadline for the proposal, with the PI holding an untenured Assistant Professor or Associate Professor position on the tenure track if they are at an academic institution. Support is given of at least $150,000 a year for five years.
“I am grateful for and encouraged by this support from the DOE at a critical time, as I establish a new lab in ‘electro-chemo-mechanically active oxides’ at Illinois,” Perry said. “The award will enable my group to creatively circumvent present limitationsin mixed ionic/electronic conducting oxide performance.”
According to Perry, essential materials for energy technologies tend to exhibit “hierarchical” functions – they perform multiple, interrelated tasks at different locations, across disparate length and time scales. To best support this heterogeneous function, there is a fundamental need to understand and direct formation of corresponding tailored hierarchical architectures.
“This work applies a new approach, applying stimulated chemo-mechanical actuation to non-equilibrium films, to transform homogeneous mixed ionic-electronic conducting materials (MIECs) into ideal hierarchical structures in situ,” Perry said. “My group aims to develop and leverage a fundamental understanding of their processing-structure-property relationships in non-equilibrium conditions… These advances can lead to more efficient energy conversion and storage.”
Perry received BS and BA degrees with high honors in Materials Science and Engineering and French Studies, respectively, from Rice University and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. Following postdoctoral work at Northwestern, MIT, and Kyushu University, she served as a WPI Assistant Professor in the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research at Kyushu University and a Research Affiliate at MIT. Perry joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Illinois in January 2018.
Learn more about Professor Nicola Perry.