Research Centers

Msa Banner200

The Materials Science of Actinides (MSA), Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy since 2009. The mission of the MSA is to conduct transformative research in the actinide sciences with full integration of experimental and computational approaches, and an emphasis on research questions that are important to the energy future of the nation. Workforce development is a motivating goal of this university-based center. The three primary research themes of the MSA are: (1) Nanoscale Cage Clusters, led by Peter C. Burns, University of Notre Dame, and Laura Gagliardi, University of Minnesota; (2) Complex Ceramic and Metallic Materials, led by Alexandra Navrotsky, University of California, Davis, and Albert Migliori, Los Alamos National Laboratory; and (3) Actinide Materials in Extreme Environments, led by Rodney Ewing, Stanford University, and Maik Lang, University of Tennessee.

For more information about the MSA-EFRC, visit:
Notre Dame Energy Frontier Research Center receives further DOE funding


Cistar Logo 200

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 to develop innovative process designs for economic production of liquid chemicals and transportation fuels from shale gas hydrocarbons. Researchers also will explore novel approaches for converting methane to chemical intermediates, which can then be used as a feedstock for conversion to liquid fuels. 

CISTAR is headquartered in the Flex Lab Facility at Purdue’s Discovery Park. For more information, visit:


Logo Nnsa Top200

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: