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UCF researchers including professors Romain Gaume and Yongho Sohn are working on projects funded by grants from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program.

The University of Central Florida earned five research grants this week worth nearly $2 million from DURIP, placing UCF among the top three university award recipients in the nation.

Awards totaling $39.9 million will help 149 university researchers at 84 academic institutions purchase state-of-the-art research equipment, which will benefit science education, medical training and the preparation of troops.

“Our strategy of focusing on research that stimulates the local and state economies has served us very well in competing for these federal awards,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research and commercialization at UCF. “Our faculty have consistently shown that they can compete with the best and the equipment purchased with these awards will position them even better for future funding. This is particularly important since most contracts and grants are for specific work to be done and have little or no money for purchase of major capital equipment.”

Professor Kathleen Richardson will receive $627,000 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to purchase an advanced X-ray diffraction system for the development of novel infrared optics, high-power solid-state laser and nuclear detector materials as well as a variety of other material research and education programs largely focused on materials advances critical to the Department of Defense.

She is working with professors Romain Gaume of CREOL and the NanoScience Technology Center, and Yongho Sohn of the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center.