The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, also referred to as the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) serves as an innovation engine for discoveries in new materials. The MRL is home to a scientific and engineering community that creates new collective knowledge and fosters the next generation of scientific leaders. By enabling modern technological advances, the high-impact research conducted within the MRSEC program at UCSB has enormous societal payoff and is shaping the future of technology, the environment, and medicine.
The MRSEC at UCSB addresses fundamental problems in materials science and engineering that are critical to the future economic growth of the United States. Current areas of interest include the support of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality in the areas of self-assembling materials for new adhesives and materials for hostile biological and underwater environments inspired by the common mussel. By examining the unique properties of complex oxides prepared with unprecedented perfection and purity, the MRSEC also aims to develop new microelectronic materials that complement and even out-perform existing Si-based systems. New strategies for materials that will significantly advance energy and environmental applications are a key focus of the MRSEC at UCSB. Studies designed to open up the science and engineering of robust and stable two-phase nanoscopic materials with unprecedented magnetic, radiation-resistance and thermal transport properties will push the US to the forefront of these technologies. A prime driver behind the research activities of the UCSB Materials Research Laboratory is to address problems of a scope and complexity requiring the advantages of scale and interdisciplinarity that can only be provided by a campus-based research center.
Outstanding Shared Experimental Facilities play a fundamentally important role in the research of all MRL programs and additionally, broadly impact the materials research community at UCSB, local and national companies, and government laboratories. Expanding these highly successful facilities and technology outreach programs are a major focus of future growth. An innovative approach to engaging with industry allows the MRSEC to develop productive partnerships which have resulted in numerous start-up companies and collaborative programs with major corporations. These partnerships will continue to be an economic engine for California and the United States. The MRSEC is also committed to maintaining the prominence of materials research in the United States through an integrated international outreach program that offers a portfolio of opportunities for 2-way exchange of knowledge and researchers. Recognizing the importance of Education and Human Resources, the MRSEC operates an ambitious and award winning effort with a focus on K-12, and teacher development, including specific programs designed to encourage members of underrepresented groups to consider careers in STEM disciplines. The goal is to ignite curiosity through hands-on experience, thereby fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers.