Under many operating conditions, such as within nuclear reactors and jet turbine engines, materials experience extreme conditions like radiation, ultra-high temperatures and mechanical deformation. Even biological materials face exposure to viruses, toxins and oxidative stresses. At UC Davis, we study the response of inorganic and biological materials to these harsh environments and design new materials with superior properties to better withstand them. Our work in this area dates back to the founding of the materials science and engineering program by Professor Mukherjee. Since then, the department has performed pioneering work on materials thermodynamics.