A research project led by The University of Southampton that will combine computational chemistry and robots to discover new materials has been awarded a highly coveted grant of ten million euros.
It is the first time the University of Southampton has won a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council. These grants are awarded to research that has “the potential of becoming a benchmark on a global scale”.
Called ADAM (Autonomous Discovery of Advanced Materials), the six-year project will combine computational modelling, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in a Computational Engine to guide robots working in a materials chemistry lab. The aim is to build an autonomous platform that can discover new materials by efficiently exploring the huge number of possibilities to combine molecules into new materials.
Currently, new materials are often discovered through trial and error, because the empirical rules used to predict how molecules arrange themselves in a solid often fail. The success of this project will reduce that, saving time and money and accelerating the discovery of important materials.
Graeme Day, Professor of Chemical Modelling at the University of Southampton, is leading the project, working alongside Professor Andy Cooper from the University of Liverpool, and Professor Kerstin Thurow from the University of Rostock in Germany.
Source: “New research grant to combine computational chemistry and robots”, Professor Graeme M Day, University of Southampton