Research-Related Faculty

Rebecca Anthony

Rebecca has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota (2011). Before that, she attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where she majored in Physics (2003). Her research interests include plasmas for synthesis of semiconductor nanostructures, gas-phase processing and functionalization of nanostructures, and aerosol deposition of functional films. The applications for these nanostructures and materials range from energy-oriented devices like light-emitting diodes and solar cells to biological imaging agents.

Rebecca enjoys running, cooking, and block-printing. Her husband is a doctor and informaticist who had a previous life as a photographer, and her young daughter (11 months at the time of writing) enjoys dancing to any kind of music.

Dean Aslam

His current research is on micro- and nano-fabrication technologies focusing on polycrystalline diamond (poly-C), carbon nanotubes (CNT) and cognitive, Lego-based educational modules. In particular, his research concentrates on poly-C piezoresistive sensors, biochemical nanosensors, poly-C RFMEMS micro and nano resonators, CNT growth in PCF channels of a micro-GC, poly-C BioMEMS (Cochlear & Neural probes), poly-C smart MEMS packaging, and hands-on robotics learning modules for K-12, UG and graduate teaching.

Virginia Ayres

Investigates both inorganic and organic nanostructures. The small physical dimensions of nanostructures result in new and fascinating localized and sometimes quantized interactions. At the nano (10-9 m) level, the distinction between organic and inorganic behavior can be reduced to fundamental interactions common to both. However, very different applications are enabled by different combinations of the same fundamentals! Our group investigates two combinations, biocompatibility between organic and inorganic nanostructures, and nanocircuits for applications in harsh radiation and low temperature environments.

Gilbert Baladi
Gilbert Baladi

Professor Baladi's interests are in the areas of characterization of composite engineering materials used in transportation networks and building foundations. Specific research interests include emphasis on the fatigue and plastic properties of soils, unbounded materials, and asphalt pavements. Current research in these areas focuses on the behavior of soil subgrades and asphalt pavements under heavy vehicular loads. His research also includes the development of pavement performance prediction models and the back-calculation of engineering properties of layered systems. He is also quite active in technology transfer activities, managing and coordinating training courses for the Federal Highway Administration and the World Bank.

Andre Benard

Transport phenomena in materials processing, heat transfer, polymers and composites microstructures, multiphase problems, finite elements.

Thomas Bieler

Mechanical deformation of metallic materials: cold, warm and hot deformation, creep, superplasticity, high strain rate deformation, electron microscopy, synchrotron x-ray diffraction, orientation imaging microscopy (EBSP mapping); texture and microtexture, damage nucleation; crystal plasticity finite element simulations of deformation in titanium alloys, solders, intermetallics, refractory metals.

Carl Boehlert

Materials engineering; materials sciences; metallurgy; electron backscatter diffraction; intermetallics electron microscopy; metal matrix composites; titanium alloys and composites; mechanical behavior.

Neeraj Buch
Neeraj Buch

Dr. Buch's interests are in the area of concrete pavement design, rehabilitation, non-destructive testing of pavements, and composite materials. His research focuses on the development of rut and fatigue prediction models for flexible pavements design. He is involved in developing crack deterioration algorithms for rigid pavements. His other research interests include development of rehabilitation strategies, and study of recyclable materials in portland cement concrete and asphalt concrete.

Eldon Case

Mechanical and thermal properties of ceramics, bioceramics and thermoelectric materials; fracture and microcracking, processing of ceramics and thermoelectric materials, ceramic/ceramic joining

Christina Chan

Systems biology and bioinformatics, metabolic engineering, nanoparticles and drug delivery systems, cellular and tissue engineering, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer and Parkinson's diseases.

Shishir Chundawat

Lignocellulosic Biomass Deconstruction to Fuels, Chemicals & Materials via Catalysis/Biocatalysis Inspired Routes; Supramolecular Organization & Chemistry of Biopolymers; Protein Structure & Function; Characterization and Application of Ammonia Based Thermochemical Processes; Integrated Catalytic & Biocatalytic Biorefinery Unit Operations; Oleochemical Chemistry and Technology.

Gary Cloud

Experimental mechanics; optical techniques in strain measurement; fracture; fasteners; mechanics of composite materials.

Martin Crimp

Deformation and fracture of metals, ordered intermetallic alloys, high temperature materials, transmission electron microscopy, diffraction studies using scanning electron microscopy.

Kalyanmoy Deb

Computational optimization; optimal design; process optimization; optimal modeling and optimal system design; multi-objective optimization and multi-criterion decision analysis; large-scale optimization; evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMO) for handling practicalities -- uncertainties, constraints, multi-modalities, noise, and mixed variables; meta-modeling in optimization; hybrid optimization algorithms using evolutionary and classical methods;  evolutionary computation in search, optimization of control of engineering problems; multi-modal optimization; design of self-adaptive evolutionary algorithms; combinatorial optimization; computational intelligence; neural networks; fuzzy logic systems; machine learning; practical applications of optimization in science, engineering, finance and in multi-disciplinary domains.

Alejandro Diaz

Optimal design of structures and materials, topology optimization, finite element methods.

Lawrence Drzal

Graphene; graphite; carbon; cellulose; nanoparticles; nanotechnology; nanocomposites, surfaces; interfaces; polymers, adhesion, surface chemistry; surface characterization; polymer composite processing; ultraviolet light; cellulose nanowhiskers; microfibers; batteries; solar cells; supercapacitors; conductive films.

Philip Eisenlohr

Computational Materials Science, Mechanical Behavior and Deformation Resistance, Crystal Plasticity, Creep, Grain Boundaries and Interfaces, Scale-bridging Simulation, Finite Element Modeling, Spectral Methods, Dislocation Dynamics

Nicholas Gianaris

Daniel Graiver

Polymerization, polymer processing, biodegradable polymer systems, micro and nanostructures in polymer systems, reactive extrusion processing, ozonation, copolymers compatible blends and graft copolymers, composites, biobased and recyclable composites.

Timothy Grotjohn

Grotjohn's research interests include the modeling, design, diagnostics, and applications of plasma-assisted materials processes and processing machines. A strong focus of his work is the use of models, including electromagnetic, plasma dynamic, and plasma chemistry models, for the design and control of microwave plasma reactors used for materials processing. Specific processes studied have included diamond chemical vapor deposition (CVD), amorphous carbon deposition, semiconductor etching, and microwave-generated plasma discharges operated as ion and radical sources. In coordination with the modeling studies are his plasma diagnostic studies. His recent work looks in particular at mini- and micro-scale plasma discharges and their application.

David Grummon

Superelasticity and shape-memory in titanium-nickel thin films; microactuators, thermoelastic martensite transformations; ion beam surface modification of materials; surface effects in fatigue crack initiation; mechanical metallurgy.

Martin Hawley

Carbon nanotube synthesis; chemical kinetics; reactor design; transport phenomena; enzyme kinetics; plasma reactions; electromagnetic processing of materials; petro-chemical processes; biomass conversion processes.

Tim Hogan

Charged transport measurements; pulsed laser deposition of novel electronic materials.

S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole's research interests focus on computational methods, especially computing electromagnetic fields by the finite element method. His ongoing research is in shape optimization in coupled problems - determining the location and shape of objects so as to accomplish design objects in electrothermal problems in electric machinery, eco-friendly buildings, hyperthermia treatment in oncology, etc. This work has led to a long term effort building up a modern design environment pulling together design rules with artificial intelligence, software engineering, mesh generators, matrix solvers, optimization techniques and libraries of parts and material properties. His work has also led to efforts in nondestructive evaluation and the localization of lightning hits from measurements. His work earned him the Fellow status from the IEEE (1995) and the higher doctorate, the D.Sc. degree, from University of London (1993).

Responding to the call of the IEEE to be engaged in society, he has substantial research accomplishments in the area of human rights and peace education and was a Fellow of Scholar Rescue Fund, Institute of International Education, NY and on the panel of speakers for the Scholars at Risk Network, NY.


K Jayaraman

Melt processing, rheology and microstructure of polymer blends, particulate polymer composites and polymer nanocomposites; extensional flow measurements and orientation of polymer composites in processing below and above the melting point.

Emin Kutay
M. Emin Kutay

Dr. Kutay's background and interests are primarily on experimental and numerical investigation of fundamental material behavior of asphalt pavements and granular materials. His research focuses on improvement of the AASHTO Superpave mix design, understanding and better prediction of fatigue cracking in asphalt pavements using state-of-the-art techniques such as the Viscoelastic Continuum Damage (VECD) Theory and development of tools to improve understanding of permanent deformation (rutting) characteristics of asphalt pavements. His other research interests include pavement surface characteristics such as smoothness, tire/pavement noise and splash/spray.

Research Focus Areas:

  • Applications of 2D and 3D imaging techniques
    • Microstructural characterization of asphalt pavements
    • Image-based measurement technologies
  • Sustainable asphalt pavements
    • Crumb rubber modified asphalt
    • Warm mix asphalt
  • Inverse analysis from field non-destructive testing
    • Backcalculation of dynamic modulus mastercurve of asphalt pavements
    • Linear and Nonlinear properties of base/subgrade
  • Constitutive modeling of asphalt pavements (e.g., Viscoelastic Continuum Damage (VECD) Theory)
  • 3D micromechanical modeling
    • Asphalt mixture compaction
    • Warm mix asphalt mixing/coating process
    • Saturated and unsaturated fluid flow through porous media

Courses Taught:

  • CE312 - Soil Mechanics
  • CE838 - Bituminous Materials
  • CE815 - Slope Stability and Stabilization Techniques
  • CE495 - Senior (Capstone) Design - Geotechnical


Patrick Kwon

Material issues in design and manufacturing; manufacturing processes; mechanical behavior of materials; microstructured and graded materials.

Wei Lai

Advanced materials for electrochemical devices (fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, etc); impedance spectroscopy

Ilsoon Lee

Polymer surfaces and interfaces, molecular self-assembly, nanostructured biomimetic interfaces, biosensors, biomaterials, functional thin film, coatings, adsorption, adhesion and particles.

Andre Lee

Viscoelastic and time-dependent properties of polymers and polymeric glasses; structure-property relationships of inorganic-organic hybrid polymers and nanocomposites; processing of hybrid nano-reinforced polymer; nanostructured materials.

Wen Li

Wen Li received her Ph.D. degree (2008) and M.S. degree (2004) in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology. Before that, she studied in Tsinghua University and received her M.S. degree in Microelectronics (2003) and B.S. degree in Material Science and Engineering (2001). Her research interests include MEMS/NEMS technologies and systems, micro sensors and actuators, biomimetic devices and systems, microfluidic and lab-on-chip systems, and microsystem integration and packaging technologies.

Dahsin Liu

High strain rate effect due to impact and blast. Development of transparent Quasi-3D composite. Peridynamic simulation of damage process.

Alfred Loos

Heat transfer and flow phenomena in materials processing; mathematical modeling of manufacturing processes; mechanics of materials; finite element analysis; polymeric composite manufacturing; mechanics of composite materials

Jason Nicholas

Dr. Jason D. Nicholas is an Assistant Professor in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Michigan State University (MSU). His group is focused on understanding and exploiting ionic conduction, ionic surface exchange, mechano-electro-chemical coupling, cost-effective processing methodologies, and hierarchy tailored microstructures to improve the performance of fuel cells, batteries, sensors, and other electro-chemically active devices. He earned a B.S. in Geoscience, with Honors, from Franklin & Marshall College in 2000, a M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 2007. After a PostDoc position at Northwestern University, he joined the faculty at MSU in 2010.  His innovative teaching and research have earned him a MSU Withrow Teaching Award and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award. Jason has also taken several leadership roles, serving as the lead organizer for a NSF-sponsored “Solid Oxide Fuel Cells- Promise, Progress, and Priorities” workshop, the sole organizer for an annual Michigan State Girl Scout Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Demo Day, and a guest editor for a Journal of the Electrochemical Society Focus Issue on mechano-electro-chemical coupling. Updates on his work can be found at

Thomas Pence

Research Focus: Analytical and computational modeling, highly deformable solids (rubbers, polymers, gels, tissues, biotissue, complex soft media),  failure of composites, shape memory stents.

Farhang Pourboghrat

Warm forming; metal and composite sheet thermo-hydroforming; tube hydroforming; temperature and rate-dependent material models; polycrystalline plasticity models; temperature dependent forming limit diagrams (FLD); fracture and damage mechanics.

Yue Qi

Computational Materials Science, multi-scale modeling, electrical-chemical-mechanical coupling in Li-ion battery and fuel cell materials, transport in solid electrolytes, interfaces, and grain boundaries.

Jeff Sakamoto
Jeff Sakamoto

As a materials scientist and chemical engineer with an interest in synthesis, processing, and functionalization of ceramics and hydrogels, my research is interdisciplinary guided by the fields of energy storage/conversion and biomedicine.   I argue that the entire length scale, from atoms to the macro scale and everything in between, must be viewed holistically in the design, synthesis and development of advanced materials and materials technology.  Porosity is central to my group’s research.  In some instances porosity, particularly at the nano scale, enables the solution-based synthesis of complex and often metastable ceramics and hydrogels with unique electrochemical, biological and mechanical properties.  In other aspects of my group’s research, ironically, porosity is initially used to synthesize complex materials, in gels and powder form, to enhance subsequent densification.  Essentially, I am interested in ceramics and hydrogels with a focus on studying the interplay between length scales and the absence of mass (porosity or vacancies). I hope to use this experience to discover and develop new materials and materials technology for energy and biomedicine.

Nelson Sepúlveda

Nelson obtained his undergraduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in 2001 with honors. He completed his M.S. (2002 and PhD (2005) degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan Sate University. From January 2006 to June 2011, Nelson was faculty at the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, and during this time participated in several summer research programs for faculty at the Air Force Research Laboratories (2006 and 2007), National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) (2008) and the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) (2009). In 2010, Nelson was awarded the NSF Career award. His research interests are micro and nanometer-sized sensors and actuators (or transducers), characterization of smart and multifunctional materials and their integration in microsystems.

K Subramanian

Mechanical properties of metals and ceramics, crystallization of glasses, erosion, composite materials, lead-free electronic solders.

Brian Thompson

High speed machinery, composite materials, smart materials, design methodologies

S. Patrick Walton

Biomolecular engineering, thermodynamic and kinetic design of biomolecules, nucleic acid biotechnology, genomics and proteomics, RNA interference, nanobiotechnology, polymeric nanoparticles.

Chuan Wang

Chuan Wang received his B.S. in Microelectronics from Peking University in 2005 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Southern California in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Prof. Wang pioneered in the field of using solution-processed semiconducting carbon nanotube networks and CVD-grown horizontally aligned carbon nanotubes for high-performance thin-film transistors, integrated circuits, display electronics, and RF electronics. His current focus areas of research include flexible electronics, stretchable electronics, roll-to-roll printed electronics, and RF electronics using various types of nanomaterials including carbon nanotubes, graphene, and 2D semiconductors. He has authored and co-authored 34 journal papers (with a total impact factor of 380.6), most of which are published in high impact journals including Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Chemical Society Reviews, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, and Advanced Materials. His research has been reported by Nature, Science, Technology Review, Time, abc News, CNET, EE Times,,, ScienceDaily, and many more.

For a complete list of publications, please visit

Robert Worden

Nanotechnology, nanostructured biomimetic interfaces; biochemical engineering; protein expression; fermentation engineering; multiphase biocatalysis; biobased products.

Xinran Xiao

Mechanical behavior of metal, polymer, composite materials, fracture, fatigue, crashworthiness, multiphysics phenomena.