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Researchers Receive $1.2 Million for Better Explosives Detection

Four Texas Tech professors received a four-year $1.2 million grant from the Office of Naval Research.

Written by John Davis

The grant will be used to develop more effective detection systems for finding explosive material.

The grant will be used to develop more effective detection systems for finding explosive material.

Four Texas Tech University professors recently received a four-year $1.2 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to develop more effective detection systems for finding explosive material.

The grant funds a project titled “Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials.”

“In layman’s terms, basically we’re trying to enhance detection for explosives,” said Louisa Hope-Weeks, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The new technology can be used by the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration and military applications.”

Recipients of the competitive grant also included Brandon Weeks, an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering; Greg McKenna, a Horn Professor and holder of the John R. Bradford Chair in Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Michelle Pantoya, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“We need better, more enhanced sensitivity to keep up with what’s out there,” Weeks said. “Things are changing around the world. The problem now is they’re making homemade explosives that current sensors can’t find.”

 

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Whitacre College of Engineering
The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.

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