Two West Virginia University faculty members have received a major grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a new generation of materials.

Bernard R. Cooper, the Claude W. Benedum Professor of Physics, and Bruce Kang, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, have received a grant worth $449,988 from the DOE over three years. This grant and research project are the result of a three-way partnership among the university, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

“Dr. Kang and I have been working together for several years in cooperation,”said Cooper.”This in the next vital step in that organized collaboration.”

This project will involve the study a new generation of materials, metal-silicide intermetallics, which are designed to be used in extremely high temperature applications. The new material will mostly be used in electrical generating machines and large gas turbines, possibly including aircraft engines of the future.

“We arent going to be able to build anything tomorrow with this research. Five years in the future you might see it being used,”Cooper said.

This material, when used in energy producing generators, might allow fuel to burn at higher temperatures than currently possible, which means more energy would be produced from the same amount of fuel. In addition, less hazardous bi-products would be produced in the process.

“With this material we will be able to harness more energy out of the same amount of fuel. These more efficient fuel burning materials will allow energy to be less expensive than it is now,”Cooper explained.

Cooper received his B.S. from the MIT and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 1974.

Kang, a native of Taiwan, completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1987 and joined the faculty in the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources that same year.

“Collaborations among faculty across the university help make WVU more competitive for major research grants,”said Fred King, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Eberly College.”We hope to encourage more of this in the future, because major grants provide wonderful opportunities for graduate students, and sometimes even undergraduate students, to get involved in cutting-edge research.”