US Army Fellowship

Northeastern University – U.S. Army Research Laboratory Research Associateship for Advanced, High-Strength Materials Research

This doctoral degree program fellowship at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Northeastern University features a research associateship appointment under the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Combat Capabilities Development Command administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

What the Research is About

The research seeks to understand and transcend the molecular processes that limit the design and optimization of advanced, high-strength polymeric materials for protective, personnel armor. Collaborative, multi-disciplinary computational and experimental approaches are taken to optimize molecular structure and materials processing to achieve a step change in performance.

What You will be Doing

The selected doctoral fellow will collaborate with faculty from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University and scientists at the Army Research Laboratory to process and study polyaramid fibers. The fellow will perform research to determine if through chemistry, processing, and structural reorganizations within the individual fiber, in addition to some engineering of the final fabric layout, it is possible to exhibit a 50-100% increase in ballistic performance over the state of the art.


Applicants should have either BS or MS degrees in related fields who strongly desire to perform graduate level research towards a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. The successful applicant has a desire to work to solve cutting edge processing, chemistry, and structure/property science and technology relating to new high-performance anti-ballistic fibers.


The initial appointment is typically for one year and may be renewed for up to three additional years based upon recommendation of the Army Research Lab and subject to availability of funds. Fellowship pay scale increases with continual experience and academic accomplishment. The entry-level annual stipend for a BS degree is over $40K and MS degree is over $50K. Benefits include: annual stipend and health insurance. Tuition and fees are paid separately. Inbound travel and moving expenses are reimbursed according to established policies. Professional travel and other costs for training related to the project are reimbursed and approved by ORAU and ARL.


The Research Associateship Program (RAP) for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory provides opportunities for fellows to participate in ARL’s on-going research projects for meeting the challenge of developing technologies that will support Army forces in meeting future operational needs by pursuing scientific research and technological developments in diverse fields such as: applied mathematics, materials science, digital/optical signal processing, nanotechnology, material science and technology, multifunctional technology, combustion processes, and computational and information sciences. Fellows have the opportunity to perform research on topics of interest to the U.S. Government and to interact with leading scientists across universities and other government agencies covering a broad research community. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet government decision-makers and learn directly from them about the role of scientific research in addressing complex, real-world (i.e., operational) needs. Furthermore, fellows have the opportunity to learn how research products transition from the proof-of-concept stage to integrated production systems.


Department Contact

Steve Lustig
Associate Professor,  Chemical Engineering

Design and manipulation of molecular/materials chemistry and structure for new property discovery, new functionality and technology development by combining theoretical and experimental methods; high performance computing, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, polymer physics, materials and biomolecular engineering