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Pennsylvania State University
Materials Research Institute
199 MRI Building, University Park
[t] +1 814 863 8407
[f] +1 814 863 8561
From agricultural college to world-class learning community - the story of the Pennsylvania State University is one of an expanding mission of teaching, research, and public service. But that mission was not so grandly conceived in 1855, when the Commonwealth chartered the school at the request of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society. The goal was to apply scientific principles to farming, a radical departure from the traditional curriculum grounded in mathematics, rhetoric, and classical languages.

Penn State has continued to respond to Pennsylvania’s changing economic and social needs. In 1989 the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport became an affiliate of the University. In 1997, Penn State and the Dickinson School of Law joined ranks. And Penn State’s new World Campus, which "graduated" its first students in 2000, uses the Internet and other new technologies to offer instruction on an "anywhere, anytime" basis.

To help meet the increasing demands placed on it, Penn State has looked to philanthropy for additional resources. President Bryce Jordan in 1984 launched a six-year effort that raised $352 million in private gifts to the University. This initiative enabled Penn State to attract world-class teachers and researchers, and assist thousands of financially needy and academically talented students. The Grand Destiny campaign (1996-2003) raised $1.37 billion, further strengthening academic programs and broadening the University's service to the Commonwealth and beyond.

The Materials Research Institute is an administrative unit that coordinates, supports and performs materials research in association with more than 200 faculty in 15 different departments and 4 colleges. The MRI is established under the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School to promote integration of research, teaching and outreach in materials research, science and engineering with a University-wide, interdisciplinary perspective. The MRI has several sister organizations with similar missions including the Institute for Life Science and the Penn State Institutes of the Environment (PSIE).

The mission of the MRI is to strategically position Penn State University - its students, research associates, faculty and corporate partners - to make important and significant advances in materials science, materials engineering, and their technological applications for communication, computers, energy, manufacturing, medicine and transportation.
RNA sequencing and protein studies create novel elastomeric materials
10 January, 2014
A wide range of biologically inspired materials may now be possible by combining protein studies, materials science and RNA sequencing, according to an international team of researchers at Penn State University.
Developments in polymer-based materials for energy storage
23 October, 2008
Developments at Penn State, MIT and Delft are leading the way in fundamental research into new ways of managing electrical energy. Traditional ceramic materials have high weight and are very fragile, whereas mobile electronics need light weight electrical energy storage
Molecular chains line up to form a new chemical state, called a protopolymer
07 December, 2004
First observation of extended chains of molecules that exhibit a strong interaction without forming chemical bonds.
Tiny tools carve glass
02 November, 2004
Tools so tiny that they are difficult to see, are solving the problems of carving patterns in glass, ceramics and other brittle materials.
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