Alfred University News

Alfred University professor awarded funding from Office of Naval Research

Yiquan Wu
Yiquan Wu

Yiquan Wu, professor of materials science and engineering at Alfred University, has been awarded a federal grant to research and develop a new material that could help to create a multimode guidance system of high-speed vehicle applications.


ALFRED, NY— Yiquan Wu, professor of materials science and engineering at Alfred University, has been awarded a federal grant to research and develop a new material that could help to create a multimode guidance system of high-speed vehicle applications.  

The grant, for nearly $600,000, was awarded by the U.S. Department of the Defense, Office of Naval Research (ONR). It will support a three-year project to fundamentally study and develop a new class of high-performance optical ceramic materials for allowing different electromagnetic spectra to transmit through the materials for multimode guidance system applications.

With renewed interest in space flight applications, which has been spurred by activity in the private sector, public interest in space exploration has increased significantly. Correspondingly, demand for the development of new-generation high-speed spacecraft has increased substantially. The new generation of spacecraft is required to fly for long periods of time at high speeds and under extreme maneuvering conditions, Wu explained. Research and development of materials technology for multimode guidance of high-speed vehicles is a key to achieving effective communication and navigation capabilities in these spacecraft.

Wu, a fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), is a recipient of several awards, including National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award, and the ACerS Global Star Award. Wu was named the SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in 2018, and received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities from the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Faculty Scholar Award from Alfred University.

This marks the second significant grant award Wu has received from the ONR this year. In June, he received nearly $600,000 in federal funding to support his research on the digital processing of laser and optical materials. That research project—supported and managed by U.S. Department of Defense Joint Technology Office through the ONR—is aimed at developing structures that can control the laser beam when it is amplified and passed through optical materials.