Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications
The Center for Materials Interfaces in Research and Applications (¡MIRA!) is an interdisciplinary materials science research center focused on the development of advanced functional materials through the exploration of materials interfaces. A fundamental goal is to understand multi-scale relationships from the molecular to the macro-scale and to understand how to dictate material function through the tuning of material interfaces.
Basic and applied science discoveries in materials interfaces can impact health, energy, and the environment, and these new technological applications can thus lead to improvement of lives and enhanced economic potential. Cutting edge research provides practical training opportunities for students and postdoctoral scholars, preparing them for next-generation STEM jobs. ¡MIRA! emphasizes multi-PI efforts on big idea topics that are not easily pursued by individual researchers.
We are establishing a new approach to research and student training in materials science at NAU and for the state of Arizona with a foundation equally as strong in science as in engineering.
Research Success through Diversity
In Spanish, ¡MIRA! means “look”! ¡MIRA! is an invitation to look at the impact of materials interfaces, look at the impact of NAU, and look at the state of Arizona. ¡MIRA! is also a recognition of the demographics of Arizona, one that is multicultural and a deliberate welcoming to Under Represented Minorities (URM) to consider education and career paths in Materials Science and STEM in general.
The ¡MIRA! Director, Dr. Jen Martinez, is an URM and internationally recognized expert in Biomaterials science. The ¡MIRA! co-Director, Dr. Gabriel Montaño is a URM of Chicano heritage and nationally recognized leader in Diversity in STEM having served, amongst other outreach
activities, as the President of the largest URM STEM society in the country (>20,000 member reach), the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). The ¡MIRA! approach is to build upon its intrinsic diversity to propel inventiveness and success, while also attracting students and unique funding opportunities.
The interdisciplinary ¡MIRA! team includes faculty from across NAU.
- Director: Jen Martinez, PhD, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Co-Director: Gabriel A. Montaño, PhD, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Core Faculty (associated through their home department)
- John Gibbs, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
- Ryan Behunin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
- Christopher Mann, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
- Inès Montaño, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
- Cindy Browder, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Andy Koppisch, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Michael Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Gerrick Lindberg, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Affiliate Faculty (associated through their home department)
- Stephanie Hurst, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Naomi Lee, Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Constantin (Cornel) Ciocanel, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
- Heidi Feigenbaum, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
- Mark Loeffler, PhD, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
- Greg Uyeda, PhD, Research Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry