The awards represent Trinity’s first success under Horizon Europe funding program
Two research projects coordinated by Principal Investigators at Trinity College Dublin and Amber, the Irelandentre Science Foundation for Advanced Materials Research and Bioengineering, have secured recommended funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) via its very competitive Pathfinder Open competition. Both awards represent Trinity’s first successes in Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation.
The prizes have a total recommended fundraising value of over € 6million, of which around € 2million is expected to go to Trinity teams.
The funding will support the ThermoDust and SSLiP projects, which will allow the respective development of new innovative materials for use in additive manufacturing (ThermoDust) and in mechanical systems where a reduction in friction will extend the life of the machines and make them more efficient (SSLiP).
This project will allow researchers to solve a thermal management problem that is currently hampering countless industries. The team proposes to develop a radically new material – ThermoDust – with exceptional heat transport performance that will surpass current means of heat dissipation and have major impacts in ICT, electric vehicles and aerospace.
The team includes Dr Rocco Lupoi (assistant professor at Trinity’s School of Engineering; Amber and I-Form, the SFI research center for advanced manufacturing) as principal investigator; and Professors Valeria Nicolosi (Trinity School of Chemistry; Amber and I-Form) and Shuo Yin (Trinity School of Engineering) as co-investigators.
Dr Lupoi said: “There is a great need for innovative materials in many different industries, but thermal management is the big hurdle that needs to be overcome as material development is hampered by a relative lack of success in disposal. heat. For example, large data centers spend a considerable proportion of their total energy consumption to run their cooling systems, while the evolution of many electronic components is also hampered by the “thermal control problem”.
“We will use multidisciplinary techniques to develop a radically new material called ThermoDust and intend to showcase it with proof of concept applications in the electronics, electric vehicles and aerospace industries. Ultimately, we believe this project will establish Ireland and Europe as a leader in heat management and pave the way for countless new products and innovations that will be more efficient and sustainable than current alternatives. .
SSLiP: extending superlubrication to persistence
This project will see researchers take a recently discovered phenomenon called superlubrication – where atomic-sized solid 2D materials can slide over each other with virtually no friction – and scale it to macroscopic dimensions suitable for use. in manufacturing and transportation technology. Many powerful incentives exist to reduce friction in mechanical settings, with a significant reduction in power consumption and wear at the top of them.
The team includes Dr Graham Cross (associate professor at Trinity’s School of Physics and AMBER) as principal investigator; Prof Stefano Sanvito (professor of condensed matter theory at Trinity’s School of Physics and Amber); and Dr Zahra Gholamvand (Trinity’s School of Physics and Crann) as co-investigators.
“Reducing friction in mechanical systems will have a huge economic and societal impact,” said Dr. Cross. “Not only will the service life of conventional machines increase and their energy consumption will decrease, but it will also make possible the mechanical systems envisaged but not realized where the contact between the moving parts is currently suffering from force, wear and tear. excessive degradation. Examples of the latter could be machines in extreme temperature environments or the vacuum of outer space.
“It is estimated that a 20% reduction in friction in combustion engines will save 120 billion euros per year and will lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 290 million tonnes. This is essential for future technologies, as drastic improvements in energy efficiency and low-carbon CO2 emissions are key targets in most roadmaps for long-term sustainable transport. Overall, our work will leave its mark on the global sustainability journey and help us meet the challenges of the European Green Deal.
Linda Doyle, Vice President of Trinity College Dublin said: “These awards represent a huge success for the Trinity research community. The funding process is extremely competitive – only 6% of all applications from the last cycle were successful and only three awards were given to project coordinators in Ireland – meaning that only the best research proposals with the potential to ‘have significant societal impacts are accepted. -forward.
“We are very proud of Rocco and Graham, and their research teams, and look forward to seeing how these projects evolve. The research has the potential to have significant economic and sustainability impacts and will open doors to exciting future technologies. “