Dear Friends of Materials Science & Engineering,

We hope that the warm weather finds you in high spirits and good health. As your own summer adventures are kicking off, we thought you might like to hear about the department’s most recent and exciting activities. If you have any questions or comments you'd like to share with us, feel free to contact us at

In This Edition...

DREAM and SENSORS Set Off Summer


DREAM: Drexel Research Experience in Advanced Materials and SENSORS: From Design to Implementation, both NSF-sponsored summer research experiences for undergraduates, kick off June 18. These ten-week long summer programs support ten participants each and enable undergraduates to perform hands-on research with topnotch Drexel faculty in nanomaterials, biomaterials, the design and processing of advanced materials, sensor need, recognition events, networking, and sensor application.


This year’s schedule for both programs boasts several exciting presentations from Drexel faculty, a field trip to Carpenter Technology, opportunities to experience the arts and culture of Philadelphia, and plenty of time for hands-on research in the lab.

Past DREAM and SENSORS fellows have gone on to pursue graduate degrees here at Drexel and other institutions, as well as co-author papers that were submitted to peer-reviewed journals, and contribute to patent applications.

Anne Stevens (’80) Gives $1 Million to CoE to Establish Scholarship and Professorship

Anne L. Stevens (MSE, ’80), President and CEO of Carpenter Technology, Reading, PA, has donated $1 million to Drexel University’s College of Engineering (CoE) for a professorship and four scholarships.

The Anne Stevens Scholarship Program for Young Women was established with a $500,000 gift from Stevens and the Lockheed Martin Corporation Directors Charitable Award Fund. The program will provide a total of four scholarships to female CoE students in the College of Engineering: two for MSE, two for other CoE departments.

Stevens also helped the university to establish the $500,000 Anne Stevens Professorship for Young Women Faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering with a gift from the Lockheed Martin Corporation Directors Charitable Award Fund. Recipients of the Assistant Professorship will hold the position for up to five years, or until they receive tenure.

Anne Stevens is currently the president and CEO of Carpenter Technology. She has also served as the Executive Vice President of Ford Motor Company and Chief Operating Officer, The Americas at Ford. In her role at Ford, she was the first female executive vice president in company history.

MSE Well-Represented at Senior Design Competitions

Cristin Yavorsky

MSE undergraduate student Cristin Yavorsky (advisor: Christopher Li) represented the department as a finalist in the College of Engineering Senior Design Competition. Her project is titled “Nano-Hybrid Shish Kebab Catalyst Supports.”

Other MSE students made it to the college-level competition as well. Dr. Michele Marcolongo, Associate Professor, along with her Ph.D. student Dianne Phelan (MSE) and postdoctoral researcher Marco Canella (MSE), advised a Biomed team in the competition.

In addition, Dr. Surya Kalidindi, Department Head and Professor, has co-advised a Computer Science team along with Dr. David Fullwood, MSE Research Professor, and Dr. Dario Salvucci (CS). The team has developed MSDTool, a computer aided engineering framework for materials scientists and engineers.

All teams made their presentations on Tuesday, June 5 in the William F. Mitchell Auditorium of the Bossone Research Enterprise Center.

Top Ranked MSE Department Students Take Top Awards

Top Ten!

If you haven’t heard, The Chronicle of Higher Education has announced that Drexel University’s doctoral program in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is rated among the top ten MSE programs nationwide. This top ten status is according to the 2005 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, a research initiative partly funded by The State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and produced by Academic Analytics.

Not surprisingly, our top ranked students have had a busy year packed with the usual class assignments and hours spent researching in the lab. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. MSE students have been the recipients of more than 20 honors and awards just in the past three months! Please click here to check out the department’s latest news about honors and awards.

MSE Graduate Student Aaron Sakulich Receives Fulbright Scholarship


MSE Ph.D. student Aaron Sakulich (advisor: Dr. Michel Barsoum) has been selected as a Fulbright student grantee to Morocco. Aaron is the first Drexel MSE student to receive a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship while enrolled as a student in the department.

Beginning in September, Aaron will live in Morocco for approximately one year. He has been accepted into a five-week intensive language training program in Moroccan Arabic and, during his time in Morocco, he will be working at the University Hassan II-Mohammedia near Casablanca. The institution is known to be one of the premier science institutes in the Arab world and is located in the largest city and financial center of the country. While there, he will continue the research he has conducted at Drexel with Professor Michel Barsoum: developing simple, low-cost, natural building materials to help developing countries care for their population.

“Africa has a distinct need for an easy to make, cheap, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cement,” Aaron says. “While in Morocco, I hope to move from making and testing formulae in a lab environment to accelerated testing and characterization, and finally to field testing the material I develop for use as a building material.”

MSE Professor Receives University Research/Scholarship Award

Dr. Michel Barsoum

Dr. Michel Barsoum, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, has received the inaugural Drexel University Research/Scholarship Award for the discovery of the kinking elastic deformation mode, a fully reversible deformation mode which is observed in a wide range of materials including geological materials, ceramic materials, graphite and hexagonal metals. He was recognized for this accomplishment at a formal dinner held on May 30th, 2007, in Behrakis Grand Hall.

The Drexel University Research/Scholarship Award honors outstanding faculty for seminal accomplishments in research, scholarship, and creative works. More specifically, this award recognizes faculty members for specific work that has impacted a field in a way that significantly augmented thinking, understanding, or trends among other practitioners and scholars. The award includes a citation which summarizes the particular accomplishment and $10,000 to be placed in a designated account to further the goals of the work.

Dr. Barsoum and his research group were the first to fabricate and fully characterize an important new class of machinable ternary carbides and nitrides, the so-called MAX phases. Since 1996, Dr. Barsoum and his collaborators have published over 140 refereed papers on these ternary carbides and nitrides alone, including ones in Nature, Science and PRL. More recently, Dr. Barsoum and his collaborators have shown that some of the blocks in the Great Pyramids of Giza were cast of a reconstituted limestone concrete. This work has been widely publicized internationally.

Sheila Berninger and Dorilona Rose Publish Dr. Barsoum’s Pyramid Research


Sheila Berninger, MSE program coordinator, and Dorilona Rose, operations manager, co-wrote a story about Dr. Michel Barsoum, distinguished professor of MSE, and his research on the pyramids published in on May 18, 2007. LiveScience is a popular science news Web site run by Imaginova. The article appears as a “Behind the Scences” article in collaboration with the National Science Foundation. The story, which focuses on Dr. Barsoum's findings that the Great Pyramids of Giza are partially constructed of limestone-based concrete, was syndicated on,, and

The LiveScience article has drawn extensive attention to the department and departmental Web site. Since the story was published, the MSE Web site has had 2,000 unique visitors a day, and between three and four thousand page hits. You can experience firsthand the popularity that the story has generated. Simply type “pyramid” into Links to Dr. Barsoum’s research can be found within the top 70 results…out of over seven million!

Contact Us | | 215.895.2323