Advanced materials able to withstand extreme environments are the focus of a new binational institute inaugurated May 24.

Representatives from the University of California, San Diego and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México joined government representatives from both sides of the international border at UC San Diego to kick off the joint project. Also participating are members of Baja California’s aerospace and biomedical device cluster.

The CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems “aims to train engineers who can seamlessly work and communicate across borders,” the University of California said in a statement.

Institute founders say the new materials coming out of the institute might be put to use in jet engines, next-generation nuclear reactors, biomedical devices and spacecraft components.

Twenty-six UC San Diego faculty and 16 UNAM faculty members have joined the institute.

Olivia Graeve, a professor of materials science at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, is the center’s director. She is a Tijuana native who received her bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego before getting her doctorate at UC Davis and embarking on a career that took her to universities in Nevada and New York.