To maintain U.S. competitiveness in a global technology market, research universities are challenged to build and maintain a culture of innovation, and an effective technology transfer process that makes new products and new technology available from research and development to commercialization. In 1998, recognizing that research and education in materials science and engineering is an essential enabler of most technologies and applications as well as an important technology and market on its own, UCF responded to this challenge by creating the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) to promote interdisciplinary research and education in materials science and engineering, and to help drive high-technology economic growth of the central Florida region.
In the relatively short time since its formation, AMPAC has successfully met its mission by creating a well-educated workforce through masters and doctoral degree programs in materials science and engineering (awarded through the Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering (MMAE) department of the UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science); by forming multiple synergistic research partnerships with industries and government organizations; and by building a reputation of research excellence through its creative and outstanding faculty members and research facilities. AMPAC has received formal recognition as a Research Center by the State of Florida, and is building its reputation as a national center of excellence in materials science and engineering.
Today, AMPAC has 10 faculty members, 48 graduate students, 8 undergraduate students, 4 technical personnel, and 4 administrative staff members, with an additional 17 affiliated faculty members from 6 different units across campus. The multi-user facilities operated by AMPAC — Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) and Advanced Microfabrication Facility (AMF) — provide state-of-the-art equipment and clean-room facilities not only to UCF researchers, but also to researchers from industry, university, and government organizations around the country.
The overall mission of the Center is to achieve excellence in materials research and education through combining resources of UCF and local industries in order to provide comprehensive solutions to complex technical challenges. AMPAC strives to excel in the development, processing and characterization of advanced materials, including structural, electronic, optical, and nanomaterials and to achieve national prominence in targeted research areas that include energy, biotechnology, microelectronics, laser materials, and nanotechnology.
As the leader of the UCF interdisciplinary materials science and engineering (MSE) program, AMPAC provides facility, faculty, and student support to all UCF units, including the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), the College of Sciences, CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, the NanoScience Technology Center (NSTC)a, the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), and related disciplines. The success of the mission will increase U.S. global competitiveness in critical technology areas and will enhance economic growth and industrial development in Central Florida.
The Center has 4 primary goals: Research, Education, Partnership, and Operations. The objectives and measures for each of these comprise the strategic plan of the Center and the basis for assessment of progress and continuous improvement for the Center and for the Materials Science and Engineering program at UCF.