Engineering Professor Receives 3M NTFA Award for Innovative Research

chemical engineering professor ralm ricarte at famu-fsu engineering

Assistant Professor Ralm Ricarte is part of the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. He was recently recognized with a research award from industry powerhouse 3M.

Ralm G. Ricarte, assistant professor in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, was awarded the 2023 3M Non-Tenure Faculty Award (NTFA) at the annual symposium held in late 2023.

3M logo“3M awarded Professor Ricarte an NTFA grant in recognition of his outstanding research on the physical chemistry of dynamic polymer networks and to support his path toward a tenured professorship,” said Cordell Hardy, senior vice president of 3M Corporate R&D Operations. “Our program has been recognizing early-career professors for decades and, as a FAMU alumnus, it is a particular pleasure to see faculty from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering receive this award.”

Ricarte’s innovative research explores the impact of molecular structure on the fundamental physical properties of dynamic polymer networks. The Ricarte Lab at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering employs a combination of synthesis, characterization and theoretical modeling techniques and delves into research questions that can be applied to energy storage, separations, medicine, consumer products and advanced materials. 

The company hosted Ricarte and the other NTFA recipients at its corporate headquarters in St. Paul, MN, for the 2023 3M NTFA Symposium where the awardees presented their work and networked with 3M staff and fellow researchers. 

“Receiving this award feels incredibly gratifying as it not only recognizes and validates my team’s teaching and research but also provides valuable support for our lab, fostering both our personal and professional growth,” Ricarte said. “It will also greatly accelerate our work by providing resources to hire undergraduate researchers and to conduct high-resolution measurements at national synchrotron facilities.”

The NTFA was created more than 25 years ago to encourage the pursuit of new ideas among tenure-track university professors. The award, which includes $45,000 in funding over three years, are given as part of 3M’s support of innovative research in higher education.

NTFA awards are intended to provide support in the form of unrestricted research funds to assist non-tenured faculty who have demonstrated a prolific record in research and academic leadership. To be considered, faculty must be nominated by 3M scientists, fostering an ongoing relationship with the company. 


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