UM Joins Academic Council Furthering Graphene Development

Group to explore research and commercialization of game-changing material

Ahmed Al-Ostaz is the UM Brevard Family Chair in civil engineering and director of the university’s Center for Graphene Research and Innovation. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has joined the Graphene Academic Council with seven other higher learning institutions around the country to help further graphene research and development.

The formation of the council was announced Wednesday (May 22) in Washington, D.C., at the American Graphene Summit, which was hosted by the National Graphene Association.

Joining UM, which is home to the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation, as founding members of the council are Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Penn State University, Rice University, the University of Alabama, the University of Texas and Vanderbilt University.

The supportive relationship highlights how important graphene science, engineering and technology education are, along with research and commercialization, for the future economic well-being of the nation. The members of the council also agree to explore opportunities and collaborative efforts to establish a graphene academic board.

“We are so excited to join the National Graphene Association Academic Council,” said Josh Gladden, UM vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “The association has emerged as the most important convening body around graphene in the U.S., with strong industry, government and university partnerships.

“The Graphene Academic Council will become an important voice in university-based graphene research.”

A scanning electron microscope image of graphene nanoplatelets. Photo by the UM Nano Infrastructure Laboratory

The National Graphene Association, based in Oxford, is the council’s governing body. The association advocates for and promotes the commercialization of graphene, which was discovered in 2004 and is a 2D form of carbon that has shown the versatility and potential to stimulate technological advancement in many industries.

The association also looks at critical issues such as policy and standards development that will result in the effective global integration of graphene and graphene-based materials.

It is thought that graphene will become an integral part of industries such as energy storage, electronics, smart textiles, sensors, medical devices, water purification, structural materials, composites and more.

“Joining the Graphene Academic Council is another step forward for the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation and the University of Mississippi in a field of growing national importance,” said Ahmed Al-Ostaz, the university’s Brevard Family Chair in civil engineering and director of the Center for Graphene Research and Innovation.

“Members of the council will explore collaboration venues in the area of graphene science, engineering and technology education, as well as research and commercialization.”

The American Graphene Summit, which included a keynote address by U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, brought together American industry and government heads with key international graphene figures to discuss graphene technologies and its impact on the U.S. and global economies.