Left: Simulation of dentritic growth during solidification of alloys --- Right: Crack formation in nanopolycrystalline ZnS under tension

Research in the Materials Science & Engineering Department

The research portfolio of the MSE Department reflects a spirit of intellectual curiosity and enlightened pragmatism.

Whether in the traditional areas of MSE or in entirely new areas, young audacious MSE department faculty members are upholding a tradition of continued innovation and are extending the frontiers of knowledge in the field. Enthusiastic and driven mid-career faculty members are taking on challenging high impact research projects. Senior faculty members who have pioneered are exploring new fields.

Erica Corral is investigating novel materials to protect aerospace vehicles from the harshness of hypersonic flight environments.

Pierre Deymier, Department Head and Director of the School of Sustainable Engineered Systems (SSES), has conducted research in the field computational materials science and engineering for three decades.  His research lies in the fields of phononic crystalsbiomaterials, semiconductor cleaning and multiphysics models

Robert Erdmann's talents are put to work in solidification research on the International Space Station and art forensic at the Rijks Museum (Netherlands). 

Ibrahim "Ibo" Guven strengthens the Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering (ICMSE) team. His research is partly funded by Raytheon Corporation, and focuses on the application of the novel simulation method of peridynamics to understanding mechanical behavior of materials and material systems at multiple scales.

Manish Keswani is pushing the limits of semiconductor processing and cleaning technologies to uphold Moore’s law.

Pinnaduwa Kulatilake applies over 30 years of experience in rock mechanics & rock engineering associated with mining, civil and petroleum engineering, geotechnical engineering, and applications of probabilistic and numerical methods to geo-engineering.

Doug Loy’s expertise in polymer synthesis is put to work in fuel cell and hydrogen storage

Pierre Lucas is expanding the realm of applications of chalcogenide glasses to convert efficiently wasted heat into useful energy.

Krishna Muralidharan is turning the field of thermal and thermoelectric materials inside-out by nanostructuring graphene-based phononic metamaterials.

David Poirier, a well-known figure in the field of metal casting and solidification, is sending experiments on the International Space Station to unravel the microgravity on microstructure and dendrite morphology.

B.G. Potter is developing strategies based on nanostructuring to improve energy conversion efficiency in thin-film photovoltaics.

Srini Ragavan, a pioneer in the area of fundamental concepts of contamination in liquids important to semiconductor manufacturers, is exploring revolutionary methods for the removal of implant resists. 

Supapan Seraphin, Director of the University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facility (USIF) and an expert in electron microscopy is exploring the structure of carbon allotropes such as carbon nanotubes and their application in supercapacitors or fuel cells.

Joseph Simmons, director of Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE) is providing leadership in the development of efficient solar energy conversion and storage.

Ben K. Sternberg’s expertise the measurement of propagation of electromagnetic waves in heterogeneous media bears on geophysical survey techniques and subsurface imaging.

Donald Uhlmann, world expert in ceramics and glasses, is pioneering new research fields in antimicrobial nanotechnology whereby he uses functionalized nanoparticles to kill bacteria and mycobacteria.

Pamela Vandiver conducts research in the field of heritage conservation, that is the application of materials science and engineering principle to the preservation of ancient artifacts as well as to reverse engineer ancient technologies.

The core of the research conducted in the department of MSE is in the areas of:

World Water Origin imageExamples of these activities include investigating the origin of water in the planets of the inner solar system (left); developing new paradigm in bionanotechnology and the materials science of matter composed of biological molecules (DNA, proteins) or living cell; developing economic models for studying the viability of solar energy technologies; developing compressed air energy storage solutions to remediate the intermittency of renewable energy or to develop novel advanced water treatment technologies.

The spirit of discovery permeates the department of MSE and we encourage you to explore the websites of individual faculty.

University of Arizona College of Engineering