UArizona receives three U.S. Department of Defense awards to support the acquisition of major equipment to augment current and develop new research capabilities

Jan. 18, 2024

These awards are part of the recently announced Defense University Research Instrumentation Program funding totaling $161 million to 281 university researchers across the U.S.


These awards are part of the recently announced Defense University Research Instrumentation Program funding totaling $161 million to 281 university researchers across the U.S.


Tucson, AZ – The University of Arizona offers world-class facilities and infrastructure to enhance interdisciplinary research and innovation, and the state-of-the-art equipment acquired through Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) funding will enhance the advancement of new technology to support U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)-relevant research for three labs on campus. Their work is diverse, but all three are considered priorities according to the National Defense Science and Technology Strategy.

According to a recent press release issued by DOD, "DURIP awards build vital research infrastructure, advancing the exploration of knowledge and upholding the cutting-edge capabilities of our academic institutions," said Dr. Bindu Nair, director of basic research in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, whose mission is to continuously advance technological capabilities and innovation within the DOD. "This funding underpins the enduring scientific excellence of our universities, nurtures the development of the next STEM workforce, and catalyzes scientific innovations that will lead to unprecedented military capabilities in the years ahead."

DURIP is administered through a merit competition by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Office, and Office of Naval Research, and seeks specific proposals from university investigators conducting foundational science and engineering research relevant to national defense.

“The University of Arizona strives to support National Defense through our robust research enterprise,” said Elliott Cheu, UArizona interim senior vice president of research and innovation. “This year’s three awards validate our commitment to meaningful, purpose-driven research as the university continues to earn multiple DURIP awards year after year.”

In the case of Oliver Monti, professor of physics and chemistry and biochemistry, the new technology will empower his team to pioneer research in spin-resolved momentum microscopy of symmetry-broken materials.

“The DURIP award enables LabMonti to be the first lab in the United States to measure complete magnetic and electronic properties of revolutionary materials for high-efficiency green electronics,” said Monti.

His award is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), as is the one earned by Pierre Lucas, professor of optical sciences and of materials science and engineering. His new hardware will enable Lucas Lab to produce glass by mechanical milling instead of melting it.

With the support of his Army Research Office (ARO) award, James Threadgill, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, will lead his team in the operation of a wind tunnel at conditions close to the speed of sound to investigate fundamental aerodynamic physics and support applied vehicle testing.

In the last five years, UArizona has received at least three DURIP awards annually. Before that, the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) ranked UArizona No. 8 among research institutions earning the most DURIP awards from 1997 to 2015, with 70 total.

The DOD anticipates distributing approximately $53 million in awards ranging between $50,000 and $3M each under next year’s DURIP competition, with a proposal submission deadline of February 16, 2024. UArizona students, faculty and staff interested in learning more about the next round of DURIP funding can email Research Development Services at

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