The Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY’s Photonics Initiative Wins $7.5 Million in Research Funding from the U.S. Department of Defense

The highly competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant will help advance metamaterials research led by Initiative Director Andrea Alù

NEW YORK, April 6, 2018 — Professor Andrea Alù, director of the Photonics Initiative at The Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC, CUNY), has been awarded one of 24 highly competitive grants from the United States Department of Defense’s (DoD) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program. The five-year, $7.5 million award from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research will support metamaterials research led by Alù, who will direct work conducted across four academic research institutions: ASRC; Columbia University; Stanford University; and University of Michigan.

The MURI grant will fund a major research effort from Alù and his multi-university team to develop time-modulated metamaterials that can break reciprocity and realize a new generation of compact nanophotonic and electromagnetic devices with non-symmetric transmission properties. This award builds on recent groundbreaking research in the area of non-magnetic non-reciprocal devices seminally introduced by Alù and several of the team members, which provide exciting opportunities for new technology in wireless communications, radar technology, optical circuits and optical computing. The funding will enable pushing forward disruptive opportunities in this exciting area of research. Alù is also leading another 5-year MURI effort, started in 2016, focused on nanophotonic devices operating at extremely low energy.

“I am honored to receive this DoD research award, and very excited to have the opportunity to jump start a major research effort on time-modulated metamaterials with my colleagues at the ASRC and our collaborators at three other renowned academic institutions,” Alù said. “It is a great way to jump start our effort at the ASRC, with the opportunity of steady funding from DoD on an exciting area with focus on basic research. This 5-year effort will allow us to take critical steps in realizing the full potential of time-modulated metamaterials to realize new technology that breaks reciprocity in compact integrated circuits and photonic devices, with a plethora of applications from radar and wireless technology to optical circuitry and nanophotonic technology.”

“This is the first MURI grant ever awarded to the ASRC and The Graduate Center,” said Joshua Brumberg, dean of the sciences at The Graduate Center. “We’re especially excited to be leading this impressive group of world-class researchers in conducting this cutting edge research. The MURI award is a direct result of the work that The Graduate Center has done over the past several years to aggregate its research resources and create an interdisciplinary consortium that engages and attracts top minds across various fields from around the world.”

The DoD MURI awards fund multi-institutional teams that include researchers from more than one of the traditional science disciplines and engineering in order to accelerate progress on existing research in critical areas of importance to national security and the DoD’s mission. The funding also supports education and training of graduate students.

The 2018 MURI award recipients were selected from a highly competitive process judged by officials from the Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Office of Naval Research. Ideas for research projects were solicited in 24 key topic areas and 436 white papers were received in response to the solicitation.  All of the submissions were reviewed, and invitations for full proposals were sent to the teams that submitted the 100 most promising submission. A list of the 24 2018 MURI grant recipients can be found here.


Organizational Attribution

Our correct name is the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. For the purpose of space, Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY is acceptable. On second reference, ASRC is correct.

About the Advanced Science Research Center

The ASRC at The Graduate Center elevates scientific research and education at CUNY and beyond through initiatives in five distinctive, but increasingly interconnected disciplines: environmental sciences, nanoscience, neuroscience, photonics, and structural biology. The ASRC promotes a collaborative, interdisciplinary research culture with renowned researchers from each of the initiatives working side-by-side in the ASRC’s core facilities, sharing equipment that is among the most advanced available.