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RIT wins $1M award from Department of Energy

RIT wins $1M award from Department of Energy

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Rochester Institute of Technology has won a $1 million award from the Department of Energy’s advanced manufacturing office, officials said.

The award was given to RIT for improvement in wiring for advanced electric equipment. Carbon-based wires—an alternative to copper—may improve electronic machine performance and connectivity, RIT said.

“Depending on how bold a perspective you want to give, what we are embracing is a wire revolution,” said Brian Landi, associate professor of chemical engineering in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, in a statement. “That’s the big picture view—if we could create affordable carbon wiring that has the electrical properties competitive with metal wiring, we would have a completely disruptive technology that would supplant metal wiring in select portable applications.”

Landi is the principal investigator on the project, working with government partners at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and industry leaders Nanocomp Technologies and Minnesota Wire, officials said. He also is working with RIT assistant professors Ivan Puchades, of electrical engineering, and Reginald Rogers, of chemical engineering, on the project.

RIT is involved in seven of 14 advanced manufacturing initiatives in the country.

“We are well-positioned to do this with more than a decade of research in carbon nanotube technology, specifically for wires and cables, and we’ve had success over the years as the first to publish carbon nanotube coaxial cables within military specifications,” Landi said. “The differentiator in the present work is, we are looking for the right combination of using carbon nanotubes with nano-metals to create a better transport at the nano-scale.”

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

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