Acquisition of Instrumentation for Development of Reliable Technologies for Harsh Environments Grant uri icon



  • Competitively awarded support for University of Idaho (UI) research
    has steadily grown from $35 million in FY'96 to $63 million in FY'01.
    This increase is due, in part, to the research activities of several
    multidisciplinary research institutes and groups. For example, UI's
    NASA Grand Challenge team provided the top-ranking concept for
    detecting extraterrestrial life. This concept would be accomplished
    in space using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. At
    present, UI simply does not have the capabilities needed to implement
    and test MEMS designs in their own laboratories for reliability in
    harsh environments. In addition, UI researchers are conducting other
    projects expected to result in a miniaturized tandem mass spectrometer
    system, miniature resonators, micro pumps, autonomous vehicle guidance
    systems, magnetic random access memories, and magnetic films for small
    monolithic microwave integrated circuits. All of these research activities
    will benefit from the added capabilities requested through the Major
    Research Instrumentation Program.

    As a result of current progress in funded research projects, and with
    the support of the university's administration, the PIs seek to acquire
    instruments to fabricate, test, and evaluate the robustness of new
    technologies. This request includes a plasma enhanced chemical vapor
    deposition system, an e-beam evaporator, a vibration / shock table, a
    thermal vacuum chamber, and a laser vibrometer. Acquisition of these
    instruments will also provide more opportunities to integrate research
    training with graduate and undergraduate education. The University of
    Idaho is requesting approximately $290,000 from the National Science
    Foundation from a total project cost of over $611,000. This equipment
    will add significant capabilities to their region by complementing
    existing equipment at neighboring Washington State University and by
    providing research equipment that is currently unavailable in the inland
    Northwest. It will also provide additional opportunities for participants
    in Idaho's HOIST program (Helping Orient Indian Students and Teachers to
    Science and Technology) to get hands-on experience in engineering

    The project will be managed by experienced PIs who will use proven
    instrument management approach to ensure efficient operation and
    maintenance of the equipment. A qualified engineering technician will
    assist them. The equipment will be housed within a single building on
    the main UI campus, and this MRI award will receive full administrative
    support from the Director and staff of the UI Microelectronics Research
    and Communications Institute.

date/time interval

  • August 1, 2002 - July 31, 2005

total award amount

  • 290,280