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Lee wins grants from Department of Defense

12/9/2020

The Grainger College of Engineering

Tonghun Lee
Tonghun Lee

The Department of Defense has awarded Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grants to six University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professors, including MechSE Professor Tonghun Lee for “Burst-Mode Wavelength-Agile Laser System for Hypersonic Research” from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The other five awards all went to Grainger Engineering faculty or affiliates: Tugce Baser, Can Bayram, Dana Dlott, Milton Feng, and Hanghang Tong. Grants were made to 85 institutions for 2021, and UIUC earned more grants than all but one institution nationwide. The college’s grants totaled about $1.75 million.

“DURIP awards help maintain the cutting-edge capabilities of our universities and provide research infrastructure to enable the most creative scientific minds in the country to extend the boundaries of science and technology,” said Bindu Nair, director, Basic Research Office, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “The awards will facilitate scientific advances that will drive unparalleled military capabilities for our country and help train our future STEM workforce.”

DURIP supports the purchase of major research equipment to boost the “United States’ technological edge, while ensuring that our future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce remains second to none,” according to the Defense Department.

In addition to the DURIP award, Lee has also been recently awarded a new AFOSR project on the design and testing of compact scramjet engines, which will be carried out in collaboration with the Center for Hypersonics at the University of Queensland in Australia and the U.S. Air Force.

“Our faculty perform so consistently well in these major research award competitions, and the support they generate is central to our success and its broad leadership across all fields,” said Professor Harley Johnson, associate dean for research in The Grainger College of Engineering. “These wins enable great things for both our research enterprise and our graduate and undergraduate students who are able to learn and develop skills in a top-flight research environment.”