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Welcome From The Department Head



Department Head and Professor Antonios Zavaliangos

Welcome to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)!

Materials is an interdisciplinary field that is the foundation for many engineering applications. Materials engineers play a vital role in our increasingly complex technological society. They extend the limited supply of materials, improve existing materials, and develop new, superior, and sustainable materials and processes with an awareness of cost, reliability, safety, and ecological implications.

Two fundamental areas of expansion in research in our department are in the growing fields of nuclear materials science and materials for energy and sustainability, while we sustain our strong presence in the field of biomaterials.

Incoming funding in the nuclear materials science field is bringing a combined total of over $2.0M to Drexel in this emerging research area this year alone. Anne Stevens Assistant Professor Ulrike Wegst and Hoeganaes Assistant Professor of Metallurgy Mitra Taheri have received funding from the Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Program, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan respectively, on the safe and cost-effective management of used fuel produced by the current and future nuclear fuel cycle in a manner that reduces proliferation risk (Wegst) and the diffusivity and other behaviors of key fission products (Taheri). Taheri has also received a grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to improve and design new metal alloys for use in current and future nuclear reactors. In addition, Taheri is PI on an instrumentation grant from the Department of Energy with Co-PIs A. W. Grosvenor Professor Michel Barsoum and adjunct professor Christopher Peters of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to aid in nuclear materials science research. Professor Barsoum has himself received a grant to perform experiments with the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory with Savannah River National Laboratory.

Likewise, materials for energy and sustainability are core to our research efforts. Trustee Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi and MSE Ph.D. alumnus John Chmiola (2009) and collaborators in France published their research about a new method of producing supercapacitors that doubles their performance over similar devices reported so far in the April 23rd issue of Science. In addition, a team of primarily student researchers led by Barsoum received a $75,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) P3 (People, Prosperity, and the Planet) Phase II design competition for "Alkali-Activated Slag Cement (AASC) as a Sustainable Building Material." This is the third year Drexel has won a Phase II award and the second year in a row a group under Professor Barsoum's advisement has received the award. Together, Professors Gogotsi and Barsoum have received $1M from the Department of Energy’s BATT Program to conduct research to assist in the development of high-performance, rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and hybrid-electric vehicles.

In the area of education, our department has PIs on three Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship program grants awarded to the College of Engineering this year. GAANN Fellowships provide need-based financial support to Ph.D. students pursuing a degree in a field of study identified as an area of national need. These grants will allow us to further expand the talent of students pursuing their Ph.D. in the materials field.

Our faculty and alumni are receiving recognition for their research expertise. In support of his sabbatical in Germany, associate professor Christopher Li has received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. Alumnus Theodore Scabarozi (Ph.D. 2009, advisor: Michel Barsoum) has been hired as a Corporate Post-Doctoral Researcher at Y-Carbon, Inc. funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Corporate Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The fellowships provide recent engineering Ph.D. graduates with the opportunity to work in a corporate setting, contributing to innovative research aimed at promoting scientific excellence and strengthening the nation’s technological prowess.

I invite you to further explore our department’s research and education initiatives by poking around our website. Please use our Contact page to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Antonios Zavaliangos
Department Head and Professor






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Last updated Tuesday, May 24, 2011