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Stephen Niezgoda: Exploring the levels of materials

Stephen Niezgoda first became interested in materials while working as an aircraft mechanic. "I witnessed vibration induced fatigue cracking in sheet metal, stress corrosion, and delamination in composite materials. I became curious and wanted to learn more about why materials break," he says. It was Stephen's curiosity that led him—although somewhat indirectly—to Drexel.

Stephen came across a story in American Scientist written by Dr. Michel Barsoum, Distinguished Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, and began corresponding with him about machinable ceramics. "Dr. Barsoum always politely wrote me back and answered my questions in layman's terms. I decided that if the faculty at Drexel were this helpful, then Drexel was the right place for me to finish my degree," Stephen says.

Stephen now performs his own interesting research on the development of a mathematical framework based on statistics to explain how the structure of materials and material properties change with time during many processing applications. His research will help engineers to choose the best possible material for their design projects, and to develop the best material for a project if one does not already exist.

"The results of the research I am doing has the potential to save countless person-hours of research and development, and to push the level of material performance to new levels. The applications to aerospace and the automotive industry are limitless," Stephen says.

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Last updated Friday, June 6, 2008