Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Harnessing Complexity

Systems comprising multiple and diverse interactions

Showing 9 results for Complexity + Chemistry RSS
Dr. John S. Paschkewitz joined DARPA as a program manager in 2015. He is interested in new paradigms and foundational approaches for the design of complex systems and system-of-systems (SoS) architectures. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Paschkewitz was a research area manager at PARC (formerly Xerox PARC) where he worked on an exceptionally broad range of problems spanning hardware design, software development, materials science, manufacturing, and innovation management.
For millennia, materials have mattered—so much so that entire eras have been named for them. From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and beyond, breakthroughs in materials have defined what was technologically possible and fueled revolutions in fields as diverse as electronics, construction and medicine. Today, DARPA is pursuing the next big advances in this fundamentally important domain.
DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
Chemical innovation plays a key role in developing cutting-edge technologies for the military. Research chemists design and synthesize new molecules that could enable a slew of next-generation military products, such as novel propellants for spacecraft engines; new pharmaceuticals and medicines for troops in the field; lighter and longer-lasting batteries and fuel cells; advanced adhesives, coatings and paints; and less expensive explosives that are safer to handle. The problem, however, is that existing molecule design and production methods rely primarily on experts’ intuition in a laborious, trial-and-error research process.
Synthetic chemistry is important across countless technological areas, from medicines to energetics to advanced coatings to functional materials. While our synthetic capabilities have developed rapidly over the last century, current approaches are still slow and inefficient, with poor reproducibility and scalability and limited use of prior knowledge. Such an approach not only limits production of known materials, but also impedes discovery of better synthetic routes and completely new molecules.