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A new partnership between Cornell and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia promises to strengthen Cornell's research efforts in energy and sustainability.
The Cornell University-KAUST Center for Research and Education will receive an estimated $5 million per year for five years to establish what is hoped will become a leading research hub for nanomaterials science and technology.
Emmanuel Giannelis, Cornell's Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Lynden Archer, the M.L. Hart Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, will be co-directors of CU-KAUST.
The partnership will focus on a new class of hybrid nanomaterials recently discovered at Cornell. Termed nanoparticle ionic materials (NIMs), they hold potential for applications in emerging technologies for water desalination, carbon capture and solar energy.
KAUST, a research university whose core campus will be located on the Red Sea at Thuwal, is scheduled to open in September 2009. The $25 million award to Cornell will help create one of four KAUST centers for science research through the Saudi university's Global Research Partnership program. KAUST Centers at Oxford, Stanford and Texas A&M University will focus on applied mathematics, photovoltaics and computer science.
Both Cornell researchers have worked for several years to promote NIMs research, and they say the center will give the field a major boost.
"A center of this magnitude will accelerate the research and put it into the public domain," Giannelis said.
Cornell officials also will support development KAUST's proposed KAUST Nanoscale Facility, drawing on past success with the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility. They also will provide advice on curriculum and faculty development at KAUST.
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