National Strategic Research Institute

NU’s National Strategic Research Institute Receives Award from Office of Naval Research

March 25, 2015

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, whose faculty have significant expertise in defense against weapons of mass destruction, received a contract award to fund research in support the Office of Naval Research (ONR).  Research is being conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) on functionalizing a wide range of metallic surface properties – or creating new surfaces - that can be used in harsh environments at high temperatures.

The long-term goal of the project is to enable a revolution in metallic materials that have advanced functionality in extreme conditions.  For example, the UNL research group is working on a surface for underwater missions that resembles shark skin, which will improve underwater efficiency and reduce drag.  Results of this research could lead to development of surfaces that will repel liquids containing chemical or biological agents.  Surfaces included in the research project are also being tested for their utilization in the clean-up of nuclear, biological, and contamination sites.

Research will be conducted at NSRI facilities and the Center for Electro-Optics and Functionalized Surfaces at UNL under a multidisciplinary team consisting of the following faculty members:  Dr. Dennis Alexander, Dr. Troy Anderson, Dr. Craig Zuhlke, Dr. George Gogos, Dr. Sidy Ndao, and Dr. Natale Ianno.

Dr. Dennis Alexander, the Principal Investigator (PI) at UNL specified “This research award is very important for our multidisciplinary research group.  The award provides partial funding for about 20 faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates working together on this project.  Our faculty knowledge of lasers, heat transfer, material properties, and drag properties gives us the unique ability to make rapid progress and we’re at the leading edge of research in our prospective areas.”    

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law. Learn more at

Tessa Bowen
PR/Communications Manager