Professor Peter Olmsted Awarded National Science Foundation grant
Professor Peter Olmsted was recently awarded an National Science Foundation grant on the topic of “Integrated Material Design and Processing–Application to Recycled Plastics”. The project is part of the DMREF (Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future) program, and is for $1,800,000 over 4 years, with a team including scientists from Johns Hopkins, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and in collaboration with colleague at NIST. The project will use machine learning methods developed by experts at Johns Hopkins to design materials by making use of real-time data taken during processing (U Mass Lowell), combined with multiscale modeling of the properties of crystallizing polymers (Johns Hopkins, Georgetown), to develop materials with specified mechanical and thermal properties. The overall goal is to make use of mixed plastic waste streams (such as polyethylene and polypropylene) such as those found during recycling processes, to design new materials. Olmsted’s group will develop new theories for how blends of polymer crystallize, and pass these microscopic models to coarse-grained simulations that can model the entire process of extrusion and manufacture. The models will be refined to interface with machine learning methods of handling real-time data to improve the processes on the fly.