Video & Story: Alfred University Shows Senator Schumer’s Ceramics Can Withstand NASA Heat, Earns $4 Million Investment

Senator Charles Schumer watches as a piece of ceramic made at Alfred University is burned with a torch while remaining cool to the touch as Alfred University President Mark Zupan looks on at left. Photo by John Anderson.

Senate Majority Leader Announces Historic Investment in Alfred University by U.S. Military


When US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stepped onto the Alfred University campus to announce a $4 million project for the university, he explained how things would work.

University researchers then showed him how it would work.

During a three-story tour of the McMahon Engineering Building, Senator Schumer witnessed ceramics made at Alfred University resisting intense heat, but seconds later cold to the touch.

Senator Schumer said technology from Alfred University will be used by NASA on future space shuttles as well as manufacturing materials as the United States competes with China on hypersonics.

“Alfred was awarded the first of its kind, $4 million, in partnership with the United States military to help us win the global hypersonic race,” said Senator Schumer.

However, he also singled out the college staff and administration.

“Let me say first that Alfred is truly a treasure, of course to Allegany County and the Southern Tier, but he’s also a treasure to all of America,” Schumer said. “Because the type of ceramic research and expertise is unique, and as we learn more and more as we develop more and more technology, these types of expertise are critical to future prosperity. and to the national security of our country. I thank everyone here (at Alfred University).

(Below is a video, his press release and a photo gallery from the Hornell Sun during the visit)

Watch Senator Schumer see first-hand Alfred University ceramics withstand the extreme heat needed for NASA and product manufacturing. Video by John Anderson.

The funding represents one of the largest investments ever made by the federal government in research at Alfred University; Alfred is one of the only facilities in the country with the technology and expertise to achieve these scientific breakthroughs

Hypersonic weapons are a growing threat – developed rapidly by China and Russia – and travel at speeds so high that temps can reach over 3,000 degrees, but the United States lacks materials like ceramic composites that can withstand the heat

Following his direct advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today joined Southern Tier Scientists in announcing that the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill added 4 million to advanced research in ceramic materials, supporting Alfred University’s cutting-edge research in the development of ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTC) for the U.S. military. Schumer led efforts in the appropriations bill to secure funding for Alfred. Schumer explained that UHTC ceramics are critical to our national security, especially as foreign powers, like Russia and China, invest heavily in research into hypersonic vehicles like missiles. Schumer said this funding will help expand Alfred University’s ceramic materials science education and research and recruit more students into its program bolstering this cutting-edge Southern Tier innovation. Alfred University is a leader in advanced research in ceramics and ceramic engineering, as one of the only schools in the nation to offer a rigorous ceramic engineering curriculum. As a result, Alfred is uniquely positioned to partner with Army researchers to develop ceramic technology to bolster our national security in the growing hypersonic race.

Senator Schumer talks with Allegany County Legislators Brooke Harris and Jim Rumfelt looking at

“Alfred University will soon be an innovation furnace for the U.S. military to help us win the global hypersonic race. ‘Alfred and to expand this already nationally recognized scientific and educational program,’ said Senator Schumer. “This research can only be done with the expertise and facilities we have here in Allegany County and will help us stay ahead in the defense industry, strengthen our national defense, while creating the next generation of the Southern Tier’s scientific workforce.”

“We are deeply grateful to Senator Schumer for his support of this project,” said Mark Zupan, President of Alfred University. “This partnership with the Army Research Laboratory confirms Alfred University’s position as a leader in research into ultra-high temperature ceramic materials.”

“This has the potential to be one of the most significant research prizes ever awarded at Alfred University,” said Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering. “The resources provided by this collaboration could change the trajectory of our ceramic engineering and materials science programs in very exciting ways.”

This partnership between Alfred University and the US military will identify key ceramics targets to better understand the impacts of hypersonic technology. This work will include the development of new ceramic materials required by the military for extreme environments, the investigation of innovative processing methods to enable ceramic technology to withstand the ultra-high temperatures emitted by hypersonic technology, and the development of revolutionary new advanced materials and techniques for future ultra-high temperatures. ceramic technology. All of these goals are critical for the U.S. military to better prepare the country for the hypersonic future, led by Alfred University Southern Tier.

Schumer explained that due to their high temperature performance, toughness and light weight, ceramic materials are a necessary component of systems developed by the military. Research at Alfred University will focus on the high temperature characterization of UHTC materials used in defense systems to improve performance. These materials must be able to withstand the extreme temperatures resulting from travel at speeds greater than Mach 5. This research and development is are particularly necessary to counter hypersonic vehicles used in weapons systems under development internationally, especially those originating from China and Russia, which pose a growing threat to our national security. The federal funding of $4 million represents one of the largest research allocations Alfred University has ever received from the federal government for a single project.

Schumer has been a leading champion in promoting increases in scientific research at the federal level. In his Chips and Science Bill, just signed into law this week, Schumer secured historic increases for National Science Foundation (NSF) research and development programs, including investments for a new direction of technology, as proposed in Schumer’s original bipartisan. Endless Frontiers Act, and STEM education and training programs. Schumer said top Southern Tier research schools like Alfred University, Binghamton University, Cornell and others would be able to tap into the increased investment for NSF. Additionally, community colleges like SUNY Corning could also use new investments for workforce training, especially for manufacturing.

Photo gallery below

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