PNW faculty member selected as researcher on $40 million U.S. Department of Defense-funded project

March 8, 2021

Harvey Abramowitz

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Professor of Mechanical Engineering Harvey Abramowitz was selected to participate as a researcher in a  U.S. Department of Defense-funded project aimed at advancing the adoption of lead-free electronics in defense systems. 

The Defense Electronics Consortium (DEC), to be established and managed by the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), is designed to address the defense risks created by the contraction of the U.S. electronics manufacturing sector over the last 20 years. Purdue University in West Lafayette has been selected to co-lead the project.

Abramowitz will join researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, the University of Maryland and Auburn University on the consortium’s Lead-Free Defense Electronics Project. The project has received $40 million to be distributed over a period of five to seven years. Of the $3.9 million in funds for the first year of the project, approximately $1 million has been awarded to researchers at PNW and Purdue University.

“Working on this type of collaborative project will give Purdue Northwest faculty and students firsthand working knowledge on how government agencies, industry and academia interact and cooperate for the well-being of the nation,” Abramowitz said.

The project’s goal is to foster research and action to accelerate the transition to lead-free electronics in aerospace, defense and other high-performance electronics. Consumer and automotive electronics have been transitioning to lead-free technologies since 2006 when the European Union banned the sale of lead-containing electronics. Japan, India and China followed suit with similar bans. 

“As a result of this worldwide transition, all advanced electronics are lead-free and have evolved to be used in increasingly demanding environments,” said Carol Handwerker, a principal investigator for the Lead-Free Defense Electronics Project and Reinhardt Schuhmann Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering at the Purdue-West Lafayette campus.

“This project will help the defense and aerospace sectors accelerate the adoption of lead-free electronics in all systems while maintaining the needed reliability,” Abramowitz added.Read more details about the project at the Purdue website.