Research Centers

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The Materials Science of Actinides (MSA), Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy since 2009 will conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary, novel and transformative research on actinide materials emphasizing actinide ceramic, metallic, hybrid, and nanoscale materials; effectively integrate experimental and computational approaches; and solve research questions that are critical to the energy future of the nation. For more information, visit:


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The Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources (CISTAR) is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center that brings together researchers from Purdue University, the University of New Mexico, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, and the University of Texas at Austin. This team will join industry, academia, and government to cultivate engineering discovery and education. CISTAR is headquartered in the Flex Lab Facility at Purdue’s Discovery Park. For more information, visit:


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The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has named the University of Notre Dame one of the two Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Centers of Excellence program funding recipients for their work in High Energy Density Physics and Radiochemistry. The other recipient is Cornell University. Notre Dame’s Actinide Center of Excellence, led by Dr. Peter Burns, will receive a $12.5M grant for research in nuclear chemistry and radioactive materials through the integration of physical experiments and computer simulation. This will enable advanced experimental activities where students will be trained in key areas of stewardship science.

Launched in 2002, the SSAA program supports areas of fundamental research and development that are relevant to NNSA’s stockpile stewardship mission and works to recruit the next generation of highly-trained technical scientists and engineers for the Nuclear Security Enterprise. Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit: