MU Professors receive nearly $14 million from US Department of Defense

9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, May 02 2019 May 2, 2019 Thursday, May 02, 2019 8:50:00 PM CDT May 02, 2019 in News
By: Edan Goldfarb, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Two professors at the University of Missouri were awarded Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative awards by the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Arthur Suits, a professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri, will receive $6.25 million throughout the next five years, to assist in his research involving the manipulation and controlling the outcome of chemical reactions. 

"One aspect of this, is the study of highly vibrationally-excited molecules, but that are very cold," said Suits.

This is a condition that Suits says does not actually exist in nature but is what will allow them to study these molecules in greater detail.

Suits said that the understanding of molecular interactions and collisions that he is researching is essential for the future developments in "computation, communication, gps developments and so on."

Tommy Sewell, also an MU professor of chemistry but on the theoretical side, will receive $7.5 million to assist with his research, done through a theoretical framework, to predict how certain energetic materials behave. 

"The purpose of the grant is to develop improved methods for predicting the safety and performance of energetic materials," said Sewell.

Explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics are the types of materials Sewell is working to develop, and hopes his research will one day help build more efficient and less expensive materials in the future.

Each of these awards is from two different departments within the Department of Defense.

Suits received his from the Army and Sewell received his from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The awards will provide the professors with grants to further their research, totaling in nearly $14 million. 

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