Vera Popovich has been awarded a prestigious RSF Grant

News - 18 June 2019 - Webredactie 3ME

Dr. Vera Popovich, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) has been awarded a prestigious 1.7 million euro grant to design microstructures and tailor mechanical properties in 3D (powder bed) printed metal components. 

The focus of the research is on additive manufacturing of novel materials featuring controlled microstructures and mechanical properties. The grant is awarded for a joint initiative between TU Delft and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU), and the research team and laboratory, led by Dr. Popovich, will establish the Design of additively manufactured materials (Design4AM). 

Research Programme

One of the main research directions selected for this programme is the development of an innovative concept for the creation of 4D metallic ma¬terials (4D-SMART). Future advances in technology depend upon the availability of “intelligent” materials combining functional performance with limited energy and environmental costs. 4D bioinspired materials is an emerging class of such materials that can modify their shape via an environmental stimulus, for example, heat or moisture. We have already seen 3D objects transform themselves over time, but to date, the 4D concept is limited to shape memory polymers.

The major challenge here is that complex engineering applications, such as biomedical and aerospace, urgently require 4D metallic materials featuring site-specific properties. The properties of metallic materials are determined by microstructure. Imag¬ine the implications for any designer who not only has unprecedented control over the shape and microstructure, but also over the dynamic property changes in response to external stimuli.

The research programme will investigate novel 4D shape memory metallic materials by utilizing controlled microstructural anisotropy and design through 3D printing allowing the creation of metallic structures responsive to external stimuli. Hence, 4D-SMART aims to open up an entirely new way of constructing smart metallic materials, where microstructural design and shape memory alloys serve as “enablers”, offering a unique path from user-defined idea to full 4D functionality built directly inside the materials. The programme, awarded by Russian Science Foundation (RSF) will run initially for 4 years with the possibility (upon successful completion) of a further extension.

About RSF

The Russian Science Foundation (RSF) supports fundamental research and development of research teams that occupy leading positions across various fields of science. The RSF mission is to identify promising and excellent scientists who are able to develop and lead most innovative and ambitious scientific projects at the highest international level. The grants are awarded based on the highly competitive selection criteria, including the academic quality of the researcher, the scientific excellence of the research proposal and the expected scientific and societal impact. The success rate is 12 %.

Dr. Popovich will appoint four researchers (three PhD-students and one postdoc) to meet the ambitious programme goals. The programme will support international mobility through the exchange of researchers between Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) and TU Delft.