Timothy Rupert, assistant professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering, has been awarded an Early Career Research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The five-year, $750,000 grant will support Rupert’s research into controlling the atomic structure and damage tolerance of metallic materials by doping – selectively adding other elements – their grain boundaries. This work will enable the creation of advanced engineering metals with improved damage tolerance, leading to better options for bridges, airplanes and other structures. “It really is wonderful, because a five-year award for a young professor gives you a level of stability and long-term funding that lets you really go after new ambitious ideas – some really wonderful fundamental scientific breakthroughs,” Rupert said. He’s one of just 27 scientists from U.S. universities to receive the funding this year. Seventeen other awards went to scientists from national research laboratories.