Assistant Professors Maurizio Porfiri and Nikhil Gupta of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Manufacturing Engineering received a $236,256 grant from the Office of Naval Research. The grant was awarded for the project entitled “Modeling, design and testing of syntactic foam core sandwich structures for marine applications.” This collaborative project will develop novel science-based mathematical models for advanced composites. Porfiri’s research group “Dynamical Systems Laboratory” will lead the modeling and theoretical analysis part of the project. Gupta’s group “Composite Materials and Mechanics Laboratory” will lead the experimental work on fabrication and characterization of these advanced lightweight composite materials for naval applications. The research will lead to composite materials with higher damage tolerance, lower density and higher strength – leading to safer ships and boats for the NAVY. The research program will involve graduate and undergraduate students who will carry out theoretical and experimental research and develop innovativeness and entrepreneurial skills.