Program Information

Penn State – American Ceramic Society – University of Kiel (PACK) International Research Experience (IRES) Fellowship

This IRES program addresses the national priority for research in understanding and imaging brain functionality and in developing engineered materials and mechanisms that provide brain-like processors. PACK fellows have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research on magnetic field sensing, biomedical systems and neuromorphic computing with the involvement of more than thirty faculty members and over hundred students and postdoctoral fellows at University of Kiel (U Kiel). In order to support this research program, U Kiel is providing dedicated infrastructure with specialized equipment. This support provides a tremendous opportunity for US students and faculty to build a partnership with an excellent cluster of scientists and engineers at UKiel and collaborations throughout Europe. (Read more about the U Kiel research areas: Magnetoelectric SensorsMaterials for BrainMemristive Devices for Neuronal Systems)

Over the course of the program, a substantial number of German students will visit US universities, funded through universities in Germany. The US students are drawn from various institutions around the country. The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) is administering the program, managing the student selection process, overseeing the international network formation and collaboration, and managing sustainability of the PACK Fellowship. Several student-organized activities are built into the program, such as retreats, workshops, and lab tours, in order to increase interactions and provide opportunities for new collaborations. A team of faculty and consultants are providing the support for training PACK fellows on entrepreneurship, social media networking, and career counselling. Sustainability of the peer-to-peer relationships is being ensured through the ACerS membership program, participation in annual symposia organized jointly by ACerS and partnering institutions, social media and a dedicated PACK webpage, and a PACK fellows alumni association.

Kiel University

PACK fellows have the opportunity to form an international network in the emerging field of biomagnetic field sensing and its implications towards solving complex human diseases through improved diagnosis and analysis. Different sensor approaches based upon magnetoelectric sensors are being designed and manufactured with the ability to reach a limit of detection suitable for biomagnetism resulting in the development of closed-loop, uncooled, biomagnetic interfaces for diagnostics and immediate treatment. Ongoing programs at U Kiel are providing opportunity to systematically investigate nanocomposite and thin film composite materials that can respond to small magnetic signals emitted from brain and heart, release drugs for treating brain diseases and provide memristive devices for neuronal systems. Extensive research on materials design, nanotechnology and surface sciences is being conducted by PACK fellows. Magnetic measurements promise improved diagnosis, for example in relation to spatial resolution and/or for examinations over a long period of time as a supplement or alternative to the established electrical measurements – such as the electroencephalography (EEG) or the electrocardiography (ECG). This is rich area for interdisciplinary student training activities covering materials, signal processing, computation and biology. Based upon the understanding of neural functioning, memristive controllers are being designed to provide ultra-low power computation.