DOE renews PRISMS Center for third term with $7M

The renewed funding for PRISMS brings the total to $26M through 2023.
DOE renews PRISMS Center for third term with $7M

PRISMS Center director John Allison leads a workshop session in Summer 2019.

The DOE recently renewed its funding for the PRISMS Center for a third term with $7M, bringing the total to $26M through 2023. In light of this exciting news, we asked director John Allison for an update on the Center’s accomplishments as well as what computational and scientific innovations to expect next from the state-of-the-art Center.

John Allison

 What was your reaction when you heard the funding news?

 JA: I was truly very excited to hear we had been approved for another extension. We have some great plans and ideas and it was good to know that we would be able pursue them – full steam ahead! We have accomplished a great deal and the team put together an excellent proposal – and it was great to see that recognized by the reviewers and DOE-BES.  

This is the third round of funding you’ve received. What do you think that says about PRISMS and its value to researchers and the field?

JA: I believe it says that we are providing real value to the field – and that the reviewers and DOE-BES see that value. The faculty, staff and students involved in the PRISMS Center have a lot to be proud of!  The PRISMS open-source high performance codes for simulating metallurgical processes are now at a very mature level and are being recognized as a unique and very powerful set of codes.  One thing that sets us apart is the integrated nature of these codes, ranging from simulations at the atomistic level to the microstructural scale and these are then integrated with a code for simulating the mechanical behavior of metals and alloys. And the PRISMS science and scholarship are widely recognized for their excellence. We have discovered and continue to discover many interesting and important phenomena in magnesium and magnesium alloys, which is our focal materials system.

What new projects are you currently working on? 

JA: One initiative we have under way is launching web-based tutorials on our new PRISMS Center YouTube Channel. This is particularly important now, since with the COVID pandemic, our annual training workshop just isn’t feasible. These new web-based training modules will make all of our open-source tools accessible to a much wider audience of software users and developers.  

What are your goals for the Center? 

JA: Conventional wisdom is that it takes at least 10 years to have new open source high performance software tools accepted by the community and widely used. We have five state-of-the art codes and the Materials Commons – and for the next three years the focus is on continuing to get the word out, adding new features and capabilities and using this capability combined with experiments to rapidly advance our knowledge of magnesium alloys – fulfilling the objectives of the Materials Genome Initiative that is the source of our funding. On the science side, we will continue to discover and understand phenomena ranging from alloying effects on twin formation and grain boundary strengthening, fatigue and cyclic deformation. And we plan to embark on a new area for the Center, understanding how recrystallization affects texture evolution in some new Mg-Ca-Zn alloys, which we think will lead to new, more formable magnesium alloys.