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Doing Business with AFOSR


Location: EER 3.640/3.642
Dr. Ali Sayir and Dr. Michael Yakes

UT-Austin receives significant support from AFOSR, but learning how to do business with AFOSR can be challenging, particularly for junior faculty. This short seminar and extended Q&A is geared towards junior faculty interested in pursuing AFOSR support for their research, as well as contracts and grants administrators to help them better understand preparing and managing AFOSR research contracts. We will discuss different funding mechanisms that are available, how to approach program managers, as well as the ins and outs of preparing a competitive proposal.

Dr. Ali Sayir is currently the Program Manager for Materials with Extreme Properties portfolio within the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in Arlington, VA. As a senior program officer Dr. Sayir has concerted effort on mathematic quantification of microstructures for DOD and leads major national programs in computational material science. He has responsibility for planning, directing, and securing long-term program support in extreme environment electronics and materials for quantum information sciences. As a Program Officer, Dr. Sayir proactively evaluates materials for extreme environments, and judiciously sponsors innovative scientific opportunities in materials that can be integrated in the ab-initio design process for far-from equilibrium effects, and extreme non- linearity’s, and ultra-fast control. He is in forefront in the development and execution of basic research on materials far from equilibrium for high-power systems and interested in new capabilities in materials that can adapt to external stimuli of electric-, magnetic-, acoustic-, thermal fields and combined loads. He is proactive member of DOD and scientific community, and coordinates research programs within the Air Force, DOD, and Army, Navy, DARPA and other national and international organizations. Prior to joining AFOSR, Dr. Sayir managed materials and structures for NASA Hypersonic program at NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH. He coordinated materials and structures projects between NASA centers, Department of Defense, Industry and Academia. Since 2008 he has held a Professor Faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Materials Science of Engineering and has been founding member of a small company. Dr Sayir conducted research in areas such as eutectic solidification, electron emitters, high temperature piezoelectric materials, and materials for thermoelectric and thermophotovoltaic energy conversion, and proton conducting ceramics. He published 127 peer reviewed publications, 2 book chapters, received 3 patents, have over 40 invited presentations, and was selected a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society since 2009 for his scientific contributions.

Dr. Michael Yakes is a program officer at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). He is currently managing the Physics of Remote Sensing portfolio. Previously to joining AFOSR, Michael was head of the photovotaics section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC. At NRL, Dr. Yakes conducted a multi-project research program with internal and external sponsors with applications in high-efficiency photovoltaics, infrared detectors, and quantum information technologies. Dr. Yakes is a subject matter expert in III-V semiconductor growth, nanostructure formation, material characterization, and optoelectronic device design, fabrication, and measurement.