Clemson University chemical engineering professor Mark C. Thies has received a Marie Curie Fellowship for $142,000 to develop molecular models for advanced-carbon materials that have the potential to be used in strong, yet lightweight transportation vehicles, wind turbines and more energy-efficient aircraft.
Thies was one of 22 international researchers to be selected for the award by the European Union. These fellowships are designed to encourage collaboration between European and internationally recognized researchers.
The award has enabled Thies to work with Doros Theodorou of the National Technical University of Athens in Greece.
"The complexity of today's research problems requires not only interdisciplinary, but even international teams such as the one we are now forming," said Thies. "By combining our expertise in synthesis and characterization with Doro's internationally recognized capabilities in modeling, we aim to molecularly design the next class of advanced-carbon materials."
The fellowship will support the team's collaboration for the next two years.
The research by Thies and his graduate students at Clemson, currently funded by both the Air Force and the American Chemical Society, has focused on the synthesis of carbonaceous pitches of novel composition. Such pitches can serve as unique starting materials for high-performance carbon fibers and carbon-carbon composites.