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Vanderbilt engineering professor wins Naval Research Award

Feb. 12, 2003, 9:55 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering L. Roy Xu has won a Young Investigator Program award from the U.S. Office of Naval Research for his research on hybrid interface mechanics and nano-composite materials.

Xu is one of only 26 researchers nationwide receiving grants of up to $100,000 a year for three years to support their research. The ONR Young Investigator Program supports basic research by exceptional faculty at U.S. universities who received a Ph.D. or equivalent degree within the preceding five years.

“Young Investigator awards confer honor upon the recipients beyond the research funding being provided,” according to the ONR announcement. “The awards are recognition of their research achievements, potential for continued outstanding research efforts, and strong support and commitment from their respective universities.”

The ONR cited Xu’s work on hybrid interfaces and structures that use nano-composite materials to improve bonding. Xu studies these new materials to determine how strong and reliable they are likely to be, and how well they will perform in ships, submarines and other advanced structures.

“The Vanderbilt Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is very proud of Dr. Xu,” said David S. Kosson, department chair and professor. “His work is an important addition to our systems reliability research and is a superb reflection of our department’s expertise in this area.” Xu’s research on failure analysis of advanced materials and structures provides experimental validation for structural reliability research.

“I am very glad to win this individual award. However, excellent support from my research group members, other faculty and stuff, our department and School of Engineering plays an important role in this achievement,” Xu says.

Xu joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2001 after he earned his doctorate in aeronautics and materials science from the California Institute of Technology.

Media contacts: Vivian Cooper-Capps, 615-322-2762, David Salisbury, 615-343-6803,