Published on 26 Sep 2023

NRF-CRP29 Award – Associate Professor Terry Steele

We are pleased to announce that Associate Professor Terry Steele and his team have been awarded the National Research Foundation (NRF) Competitive Research Programme (CRP) grant for his research programme titled "Directed Energy Materials (DEM) for Advanced Manufacturing". Prof Steele leads a multidisciplinary team at NTU comprised of Team-PIs from School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CCEB).

The emergence of Industry 4.0 focuses on agile production methods, energy efficiency, and sustainability.  A gap is identified in the development of smart materials that respond to external or internal stimuli. To address this gap, the programme proposes a novel platform technology based on Directed Energy Materials (DEM), which combines physics and materials science. Unlike traditional plastics, DEM allows remote activation, real-time feedback, and digital manipulation, enabling more efficient and sustainable design and manufacturing processes. The key elements of this innovative approach include magnetic field responsive thermoplastics, voltage induction of semiconductive resin/plastics, and sustainable composite lifecycles. Overall, the DEM platform technology aims to provide on-demand energy application, integrate with automated manufacturing, reduce energy consumption, and enhance the sustainability of plastic composites by aligning with the principles of Industry 4.0.

About the NRF-CRP
The National Research Foundation (NRF) Competitive Research Programme (CRP) funding scheme seeks to foster the formation of multi-disciplinary teams to conduct cutting-edge research projects that are of relevance to Singapore and the society. The CRP funds use-inspired basic research projects that are selected through a merit review process based on scientific excellence. The theme of the proposed research project must be motivated by an important need or problem to be solved.
Our heartiest congratulations to the Prof Steele and team on winning this grant!