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$24m US imaging science centre established

A $24 million imaging centre has been set up in the United States to further advances in imaging science.

The centre will be established at CU Boulder in Colorado with a five-year grant from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). It will include scientists from UCLA and UC Berkeley.

According to Jianwei Miao, UCLA professor of physics, deputy director and co-principal investigator of the centre, the project addresses a critical national need for imaging science at an important time for the United States to remain competitive in science and technology.

He said that the work at the centre, known as ‘Strobe’ because of its use of stroboscopes for imaging, will integrate several approaches and technologies - including photon and electron-based imaging, advanced algorithms, big data analysis and adaptive imaging - to deal with issues that have the potential to transform imaging science and technology.

‘We will push each imaging technique to its limits, as well as develop improved new approaches,’ said Miao. ‘Physicists, mathematicians, chemists and biologists from UCLA will work closely with leading experts from University of Colorado, Boulder, and UC Berkeley to establish Strobe as a world-class imaging centre.’

According to Miao, undergraduate and graduate students will have an opportunity to participate in the research, as students trained in imaging science are needed in all areas of science and advanced technology.

In addition to research, the centre plans to develop world-class engineers, scientists and leaders of industry; educate a diverse group of students for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers; develop STEM programmes to educate high school science teachers and students; and engage in knowledge transfer with industry.

UC Irvine, Fort Lewis College in Colorado and Florida International University will also be participating, along with industrial partners Intel, IBM, Semiconductor Research Corporation, GlobalFoundries, Anasys, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre, ASML and KMLabs.

The NSF has funded other science and technology centres in the past, which conduct ‘innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects’ involving world-class research through partnerships among academic universities and industrial organisations in important areas of basic research.

‘From deepening our understanding of intelligence to developing energy-efficient electronics and next-generation polymers, NSF’s Science and Technology Centers have stood at the forefront of discovery and innovation,’ said Suzi Iacono, head of the NSF Office of Integrative Activities.

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