Nano Infrastructure Research Group

“I never would have imagined that I could be working on a project that would have such large-scale impact ... You see things like the Boston Marathon bombing, and you think, 'oh, my coating could protect those windows.'”

-- Heather Daniell Rivera

Visualize a bomb explosion inside a building, but the blast is practically neutralized by flexible outer walls that contain the spread of debris. It may sound like something from science fiction, but it is all too real for scientists and students at Ole Miss working with nanotechnology.

The research concerns the study and manipulation of molecules or even atoms and is being conducted at the UM Nano Infrastructure Research Group, or NIRG, where School of Engineering scientists are developing bio-inspired nanomaterials to improve resilience of the nation’s infrastructure.

Student Heather Daniell Rivera is one of those students enhancing her study of civil engineering with research that could save lives across the world.

“Imagine seeing metal-penetrating bullets stopped by a substance less than an inch thick but stronger than steel.”