Northeastern Inks $20.4 Million Research Deal with U.S. Army

More funding for "cold spray" research.

Photo by Alex Lau

Photo by Alex Lau

Northeastern University has secured an agreement with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, providing up to $20.4 million in expedited funding for defense research over the next three years.

The agreement will make use of Northeastern’s 70,000-square-foot Kostas Research Insti­tute in Burlington, including its NanoOPS, a nanoscale printing system used for flex­ible elec­tronics, med­i­cine, and energy storage.

A world that is resilient and secure is a world that is pow­ered by inno­v­a­tive research,” Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun said in a release. “Northeastern’s research enter­prise is leading the way with a multi-​​year strategy that com­bines the inge­nuity of our sci­en­tists with the funding sup­port to sus­tain it. The gen­erous invest­ment from our alumnus, George Kostas, is a clear example of the mutu­ally rein­forcing ecosystem of acad­emia, phil­an­thropy, and gov­ern­ment funding.”

Two projects will make immediate use of this new funding. Eight Northeastern faculty members, led by pro­fessor Sinan Muftu and asso­ciate pro­fessor Andrew Gouldstone of the Depart­ment of Mechan­ical and Indus­trial Engineering, will be studying high-​​velocity spraying materials, or “cold spray,” which can be used to repair military infrastructure. Successful applications so far have included submarine periscopes and discontinued panels on Air Force’s B-​​1 bombers.

In addition, Vincent Harris of Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Elec­trical and Com­puter Engineering will work in collaboration with the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground facility in Mary­land, using mag­netic par­ti­cles to align nanopar­ticle ceramic materials in order to develop light­weight bul­let­proof vests and vehicle armor.

This agree­ment sig­nals the Army’s recog­ni­tion of Northeastern’s lead­er­ship in devel­oping new strategic mate­rials for use in defense appli­ca­tions, David Luzzi, exec­u­tive director of Northeastern’s Secu­rity Research Ini­tia­tive, said in a release. “We see the Army agree­ment as the first in a set of strategic coop­er­a­tive agree­ments with agen­cies respon­sible for research on secu­rity, intel­li­gence and resilience.

Northeastern, which boasts more than 90 ongoing U.S. Department of Defense-funded research projects, signed an agreement with the National Guard earlier this year, creating an accelerated master’s degree program in homeland security for guardsmen.