Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

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SUBR professor receives DOE/NNSA funding for research


Southern University Distinguished Professor of Physics Diola Bagayoko was awarded a $175,000 research grant from the United States Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). This project is a part of the work of the Consortium for Materials and Energies Security (CMaES) led by Florida A&M University.

SU is amongst six other historically black colleges and universities and two national laboratories as members of the consortium. The two laboratories include Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Los Alamos National Lab (LANL). The other universities involved include Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee University, Tennessee State University, Benedict College, Morehouse College, and Allen University.

The project began in October of 2014 and is set to end on September 30, 2017.  Bagayoko along with 30 undergraduate and 12 graduate assistants perform state-of-the-art calculations of electronic and related properties of materials for applications in materials science and engineering and in energy security. Tommy Rockward, a SU graduate of the BS and MS degree programs in physics, is the lead scientist for the collaboration at LANL.

"Our recent discovery that resolved a 50 year misunderstanding in condensed matter theory will be extensively applied in the coming year in pursuit of materials and energy security," said Bagayoko in regards to the recent grant.

The priority areas of CMaES are training students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) along with pre-college initiatives, and frontier research aimed at ensuring "Materials and Energy Security" for this country.

According to Bagayoko for 50 years (1964-2014), the condensed matter theory community seems to have missed some essential features of density functional theory (DFT).  Bagayoko and the SU students have recently resolved the 50 year-old band gap problem related to density functional theory.

"This resolution has significant implications for condensed matter theory, with direct applications in electronic industry, nano-science and technology, and particularly the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). The resulting predictive computational capacity opens the way to a detailed understanding of electronic, energetic, and related processes undergirding catalysis," said Bagayoko.

For more details on this project, please contact Bagayoko, project investigator for Consortium for Materials and Energies Security, at (225) 771-2730 or via email at