Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES) was founded in the Fall of 2015, the first externally funded research center at UC Merced which is the University of California’s newest campus. MACES has been built upon existing nanomaterial-based research programs that each participating investigator had already developed. MACES serves as a nexus for UC Merced nanomaterials-based research and education. It provides researchers at all levels access to expertise and equipment for cutting-edge nanomaterial-based research in a collaborative and multidisciplinary environment. Leveraging our research-oriented training and skills-based learning in which students work closely with faculty members on research projects, MACES is drawing from the talented but untapped youth in the local community and is developing a strong STEM workforce for NASA missions. In partnership with UC Santa Cruz and NASA Laboratories, we are striving to cultivate and develop MACES into a materials research institute known for its excellence in materials-based research and innovative multidisciplinary education.
Our research, undergraduate and graduate training and educational outreach programs are carefully designed to mirror the NASA MIRO’s objectives with the following goals:
- Promote innovative and collaborative research in functional nanomaterials for energy and sensing for NASA missions, while simultaneously addressing terrestrial needs for early disease diagnosis and for clean and renewable energy;
- Educate and train a new generation of STEM workforce that have been trained in a multidisciplinary material research environment with solid foundations and excellent problem-solving skills;
- Increase Participation of underrepresented and underprivileged students;
- Acquire additional resources from NASA and other funding sources to help support research activities and develop infrastructure for materials research;
- Forge partnerships with academic institutions, local school districts, national labs, and industry to increase research impact and improve scientific literacy among K-12 students;
- Assist with the recruitment and retention of high-caliber faculty and building of materials science and engineering research facilities at UC Merced.