Message From the Director

Welcome to the Merced nAnomaterials Center for Energy and Sensing (MACES).  With substantial support from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), MACES was launched in the summer of 2015 at UC Merced, the first American research university founded in the 21st century.  Serving as a hub of nanomaterials research at UC Merced, MACES aims to develop functional nanomaterial platforms that will provide technological solutions for highly efficient and lightweight energy conversion devices. The center will also create sensitive, selective and robust biosensors for health monitoring in space as well as terrestrial applications. These important challenges are being tackled by stimulating and supporting multidisciplinary, groundbreaking research programs at UC Merced in partnership with UC Santa Cruz and NASA facilities. Coupled with the MACES research mission is a vertically integrated STEM education program designed to foster the development of a highly skilled and diverse STEM workforce. We are delivering a number of graduate and undergraduate training programs as well as outreach activities. The center will also play a pivotal role in the creation of nanomaterial research oriented user facilities that will benefit the entire University. I encourage you to browse the website and let us know if you have any questions or feedback. -Director Jennifer Q. Lu

About MACES:

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.


Center Missions:

 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.