The U.S. Department of the Navy recently announced that Dr. Mukti Rana, associate professor and chair of the DSU Department of Physics and Engineering, has been selected to receive a grant award as part of the Office of Naval Research’s 2015 Young Investigator Program
Dr. Mutki Rana
According to the Navy, the Young Investigator Program is one of the oldest and most selective scientific research advancement programs in the country. The program is designed to promote the professional development of early-career academic scientists, both as researchers and instructors.
The Navy selected Dr. Rana on the strength of his proposal to establish a new integrated research and education program that will include research designed to improve night vision systems and other technologies such as spectrometers and radiometers.
DSU physics and engineering students will be involved with work that includes the design, fabrication and characterization of uncooled infrared detectors, according to Dr. Rana, who is also a part of the University’s Optical Science Center for Applied Research (OSCAR).
“It is a tremendous honor for me, OSCAR (the Optical Science Center for Applied Research) and DSU to receive Young Investigator Program Award,” Dr. Rana said. “This award will allow my research group to develop uncooled thermal detectors with low thermal conductivity, which is expected to improve the performance of uncooled detectors that could be used in night vision cameras for the U.S Navy and other defense organizations.”
Such improvements in night vision technology equipment will also benefit users of the technology in automobiles and other modes of transportation, firefighting, policing, as well as search and rescue efforts. Dr. Rana will also collaborate with Dr. Dennis Prather, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, where a laboratory on that campus will be utilized for this research.
Dr. Rana was one of 36 awardees selected out of 383 research proposals that were submitted. Recipients were chosen based on merit and potential breakthrough advances for the Navy and Marine Corps.
While the Navy has not finalized the amount of the grants that will be awarded, Dr. Rana’s proposal funding request is just under $360,000.