North Dakota seeks to advance new discoveries of bio-based, sustainable materials that give more consideration to the environment and contribute to its economy through their sourcing (low cost, renewable), durable lifetimes (long, high durability), and recyclability (efficient, high value). An EPSCoR grant from the National Science Foundation includes funding for the Center for Sustainable Materials Science to pursue this research.
The Center for Sustainable Materials Science has three major strategic goals:
- Develop and launch a transformative approach to the development of sustainable materials derived from agricultural materials as a means to replace petrochemical polymeric materials in day-to-day use.
- Build the center into a high functioning interdisciplinary, sustainable research team that includes new faculty hires, acquisition of state of the art analytical equipment and utilization of cyberinfrastructure for the purpose of efficiently processing data, quickly analyzing results, and securely transmitting data between groups.
- Facilitate research, education, workforce development, and outreach on the importance of sustainable materials.
The center’s team leads include 1) the team Director Dr. Dean Webster, Professor and Chair in the Coatings and Polymeric Materials department at North Dakota State University and 2) the co-Lead Dr. Mukund Sibi, Distinguished Professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at North Dakota State University. Dr. Webster leads research in polymer synthesis, coatings, and polymer structure-property relationships and the use of high throughput methods and Dr. Sibi has expertise in catalysis and organic synthesis.
The Center for Sustainable Materials Science research team includes researchers from the following North Dakota educational institutions:
- North Dakota State University in Fargo
- University of North Dakota in Grand Forks
- Mayville State University in Mayville
- Minot State University in Minot
- Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates
- Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt