This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) award supports the establishment of an multidisciplinary, multi-institution graduate training program of education and research in the Science and Engineering of Laser Interactions with Matter (SELIM). The SELIM IGERT program links the University of Virginia (UVa), Norfolk State University (NSU), and the Jefferson Laboratory (JLAB) Free Electron Laser (FEL) Facility and its affiliated industrial Laser Processing Consortium (LPC) in a collaborative venture to develop graduate students with enhanced mastery and practical experience of the knowledge and state-of-the-art technical skills required for advancements in modern science and technology. Graduate students will employ ultrashort-pulse lasers at UVa and NSU in conjunction with the high-power FEL at JLAB in fundamental and problem-oriented research on the modification of materials under novel regimes of high laser intensity and short pulse duration. Training elements will include interdisciplinary graduate research directed by multiple faculty; advanced SELIM courses and a biweekly seminar; a second-year industrial summer internship at JLAB; active participation in semi-annual LPC Workshops; and opportunities for off-site research experiences at international laboratories. Program diversity will be encouraged and enhanced by a seamlessly coupled NSU/UVa M.S./Ph.D. degree sequence and graduate student mentoring of minority undergraduate scholars.
IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to facilitate the establishment of innovative, research-based graduate programs that will train a diverse group of scientists and engineers to be well-prepared to take advantage of a broad spectrum of career options. IGERT provides doctoral institutions with an opportunity to develop new, well-focussed multidisciplinary graduate programs that transcend organizational boundaries and unite faculty from several departments or institutions to establish a highly interactive, collaborative environment for both training and research. In this second year of the program, awards are being made to twenty-one institutions for programs that collectively span all areas of science and engineering supported by NSF. This specific award is supported by funds from the Directorates for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Office of Multidisciplinary Activities), for Engineering, and for Education and Human Resources.