The NASA sponsored "University Research, Engineering and Technology Institute (URETI) on intelligent materials and structures was funded in August 2002. From this research effort the Institute for Intelligent Bio-Nano Materials and Structures for Aerospace Vehicles (TiiMS) was approved by the Texas A&M UniversityBoard of Regents in September 2002. Texas A&M was joined by five sub recipient universities (University of Texas at Arlington, University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University) who collaborated with us to develop through multiscale approaches and new innovations in nanotechnology, multifunctional materials and devices for the design of future aeronautics and space exploration vehicles and systems. Through this advanced research and development activity we produced more highly educated and trained science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals for NASA.
This successful program impacted education by engaging an average of 30 undergraduate, 60 graduates and 20 post docs annually throughout the six universities for five years. Several nanotechnology companies grew out of the TiiMS research including NanoRidge Materials, Inc. and NanoComposites, LLC both in Houston, TX. In excess of 35 additional grants were awarded to TiiMS through AFOSR, AFRL, NASA, NSF, Boeing, Schlumberger, Texas Workforce Commission, Vestas, Tenaris, and others.
Currently there are three major efforts supporting research for TiiMS: -a Multidisciplinary Univeristy Research Initiative (MURI) project sponsored by AFOSR on "Synthesis, Characterization and Modeling of Functionally Graded Multifunctional Hybrid Multiscale Composites for Extreme Environments" -an NSF-sponsored International Materials Institute (IMI) known as the "International Institute for Multifunctional Materials for Energy Conversion" -an NSF-supported Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (in partnership with Ohio State) on concepts for "smart vehicles. Further industry support is provided by The Boeing Company, Tenaris Research Center, Weber Aircraft, Sandia National Laboratory, and others.