College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

NSF CAREER Award will support Sheidaei microstructural materials research for many applications

Azadeh Sheidaei
Azadeh Sheidaei
Azadeh Sheidaei

Department of Aerospace Engineering assistant professor Azadeh Sheidaei’s research in microstructural materials has been recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the NSF CAREER Award.

The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research and education, and the integration of these endeavors in the context of their organizations’ missions. Her research project is “Cyberinfrastructure for Printable Multifunctional Microstructural Materials.”

National Science Foundation LogoThe award’s total value is $553,654 beginning May 15, 2024 for a five-year period. It will be a boon to Sheidaei’s research in lab-to-market development of advanced manufacturing in integrated computational material design and maintaining U.S. competitiveness in the global materials market. It deals with solving four critical computational challenges: inefficiency, expense, overreliance on data, and manufacturing uncertainties. It deploys a novel cyberinfrastructure for designing printable materials with desirable multifunctional properties.

Graphic illustrating elements involved in Sheidaei NSF-awarded research
This illustration shows various elements involved in a typical microstructural materials process in Professor Sheidaei’s research

The research contributes significantly to materials science by predicting the microstructure status of new materials for applications ranging from robotics and aerospace to high-frequency communications, sensors, power sources, thermal management, energy harvesting, and medical implants. The project trains students at all levels and professionals in a multidisciplinary environment that prepares them to contribute solutions to problems at the intersection of machine learning, high-performance computing, materials science, computational mechanics, and additive manufacturing. The research results will be publicly available as open-source software to the broader community, with comprehensive documentation on the design and usage to help users from all domains.

The research plan includes a Virtual Material Explorer Lab for K-12 students and calls for engaging students in innovative projects and product development.

The project is funded by NSF’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure.

Sheidaei holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran. Her research interests include design and characterization of advanced material systems (composites, fuel cells, battery, geological materials); and modeling and analysis of biological systems (bone diseases, minimally invasive surgery of soft-tissue).