Purdue gets DEPSCoR grants worth $2.4 million from Defense Department

DEPSCoR awardees are, from left: Hadiseh Alaeian, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics and astronomy; Susan Hunter, assistant professor of industrial engineering; Alex Ruichao Ma, assistant professor physics and astronomy; Sivaranjani Seetharaman, assistant professor of industrial engineering. 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Four Purdue University projects will share $2.4 million as recipients of the U.S. Defense Department’s DEPSCoR (Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) awards, a program to strengthen the agency’s relationships in basic research at institutions of higher learning.  

The four Purdue projects are among 25 chosen for the program. They are:  

  • Rydberg Photonics: Quantum Many-Body Simulation with Photons; Hadiseh Alaeian, principal investigator. This project will explore and realize the coupling of the recently observed high-lying Rydberg excitons in cuprous oxide to high-finesse planar microcavities to create strongly interacting and correlated photons. Such photons would be instrumental for the future of photonic quantum technology.
  • Theory and Algorithms for Two-Stage Decision-Making Under Conflict and Uncertainty; Susan Hunter, principal investigator. This project will model aspects of the decision-making processes that lead to a class of mathematical optimization problems called two-stage multiobjective optimization under uncertainty. By solving these problems, one can identify feasible decisions that contribute to outcomes that are globally optimal according to the Pareto concept of optimality that governs multiobjective optimization.
  • Tailoring Quantum Entanglement in Driven-Dissipative Superconducting Circuits; Alex Ruichao Ma, principal investigator. This project will develop novel methods to design and create entangled quantum states in superconducting circuits, to enable advanced quantum technologies for computing, emulation and sensing applications.
  • Operational Resilience to Extreme Events in Networked Dynamical Systems Through Real-Time Adaptation; Sivaranjani Seetharaman, principal investigator. The project seeks to solve the problem of ensuring operational resilience of networked dynamical systems to extreme events and shocks that push the system far from equilibrium.

Each team will receive up to $600,000 over three years to pursue science and engineering research in areas relevant to initiatives supporting the National Defense Strategy. 

The yearly competition is designed to introduce universities to DOD’s research challenges and support systems. It is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty with appointments in 37 states and territories that are eligible to compete for DEPSCoR funds. 

Through DEPSCoR, the Defense Department can “enhance U.S. science and engineering research capacity both now and in the long term,” said Bindu Nair, director of DOD’s Basic Research Office. “Since the next scientific breakthrough could come from any corner of our nation, growing the department’s ecosystem of creative and insightful researchers is critical to our national security.”  

Funding opportunity announcements for the FY23 DEPSCoR Research Collaboration and FY23 DEPSCoR Capacity Building competitions are now posted on grants.gov.  

About Purdue University 

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives

Writer/Media contact: Evamarie Socha, ecsocha@purdue.edu  


Ruichao Ma, maruichao@purdue.edu 

Sivaranjani Seetharaman, sseetha@purdue.edu 

Hadiseh Alaeian, halaeian@purdue.edu 

Susan Hunter, susanhunter@purdue.edu