Students

International Women’s Day Spotlight on UC Davis Women in Materials Science and Engineering

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, the University of California, Davis, College of Engineering recognizes women in engineering, their journey to and in the field, and how they promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive world.

Meet some remarkable women in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and learn how they inspire inclusion in engineering.

Inaugural Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship awarded to Hudson Shih

"I find Professor Mukherjee's legacy to be very inspirational," said Ph.D. student Hudson Shih, who was recently honored as the first-ever recipient of the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship, named for the late Distinguished Professor who paved the path for materials scientists at UC Davis.

How to Persevere

Materials science and engineering Ph.D. candidate Cassondra Brayfield is on track to finish her degree in August, but she is quick to acknowledge that the road to success has been bumpy.

Using Machine Learning to Find Reliable and Low-Cost Solar Cells

Researchers at the University of California, Davis College of Engineering are using machine learning to identify new materials for high-efficiency solar cells. Using high-throughput experiments and machine learning-based algorithms, they have found it is possible to forecast the materials’ dynamic behavior with very high accuracy, without the need to perform as many experiments.

2023 Graduate Student Excellence Awards

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Graduate Student Excellence Awards: Isabella Loureiro Muller Costa, Peifen Lyu, Patrick Cunningham and Tanner Finney.  

Innovating for our future

Peifen Lyu ’19, Ph.D. ’25 has created a magnesium-based nanoscale optical device that dissolves in water and changes colors in displays. It creates a color change across several applications, such as a coating for pills or as sensors in environmental science for testing different chemical compositions.

Student Spotlight: Ph.D. Candidate Isabella Costa

Meet Isabella Loureiro Muller Costa. Costa is a third year Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at the University of California, Davis. Isabella is in the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation, or CGIF, President's Council of Student Advisors and brought CGIF Mini Kits to Brazil last year to expose students to materials science.

Cassondra Brayfield Awarded Cadence Women in Technology Scholarship

Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D. candidate Cassondra Brayfield was named a recipient of the Cadence Diversity in Technology Scholarship under its Women in Technology program. Brayfield was selected based on leadership skills, recognition of accomplishments, endorsement from professors, and drive to shape the world of technology. 

Ph.D. Student Isabella Costa Does Outreach in Brazil

Children in Maripá de Minas don’t think of pursuing a higher education, likely because they don’t know what opportunities await them in Brazil or beyond. Isabella Loureiro Muller Costa, a third year Ph.D. candidate at UC Davis and Brazil native, plans to show these students what their future could entail with her outreach efforts.

Developing Life-Like Synthetic Cells

Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D. candidate Pallavi D. Sambre is taking the first steps toward engineering lifelike artificial materials that reconstitute a cell’s ability to change their membrane shape to move from one part of the body to another.

Student Spotlight: Sevag Momjian

The natural curiosity about the world Sevag Momjian '22 has always had led him to materials science and engineering, and he's excited to help the field realize its potential to solve some of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century.

MSE Celebrates the Class of 2022

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) celebrated its graduating seniors from the class of 2022 during the Senior Send-off held on Sunday, June 12, 2022. The graduates and their families were invited to Kemper Hall after the main graduation ceremony held at UC Davis Health Stadium to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.

Student Spotlight: Chad Serrao

After completing a bachelor's degree in philosophy, Chad Serrao '22 decided to go back to school to pursue engineering and became hooked on materials science and engineering and looks forward to playing a role in using the field to build a sustainable future.

Student Spotlight: Avery Adams

Avery Adams '22 was drawn to materials science and engineering because of the versatility of the field that allows her to do both experimental and applied work for a wide range of fields.

Student Spotlight: Pooja Rao

Pooja Rao '22 thought she would get her B.S. and immediately leave academia, but she developed a love for research as part of Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja's group and decided to continue her studies as a master's student.

Meghna Srivastava Receives Jeffery C. Gibeling Award for Best Master’s Thesis

Meghna Srivastava is this year’s recipient of the of the College of Engineering’s Jeffery C. Gibeling Master’s Thesis Excellence Award, which recognizes the M.S. student who has submitted the best master's thesis. Srivastava earned her M.S. in materials science and engineering under the mentorship of Associate Professor Marina Leite.

Ph.D. Student Margaret Duncan Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Second-year materials science and engineering Ph.D. student Margaret Duncan, part of Associate Professor Marina Leite’s lab, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship is the oldest and one of the most prestigious of its kind and it recognizes and supports outstanding STEM graduate students who have the potential to become knowledgeable experts and significantly contribute to research, teaching, and innovation.

Student Spotlight: Ethan Suwandi

One of materials science and engineering major Ethan Suwandi’s favorite things to do is “nerd out” about materials with his friends, classmates and professors at UC Davis.

“It’s very cathartic, at least for me,” he said. “Materials is a niche topic that you can’t discuss with many people, so I think all of us would take the chance to say, ‘look at this cool thing I found’ or ‘look at this cool thing I’m researching and let me tell you all about the mechanisms behind it!’”

Student Spotlight: Griffin Hart

Recent materials science and engineering graduate Griffin Hart ’21 used UC Davis to try college a second time and was able to make the most of his experience.

Hart started college at Humboldt State University, but didn’t know what he wanted to do. This made him feel unmotivated and that was reflected in his grades, so he moved home and enrolled in community college. He became interested in sustainability and through his calculus, physics and chemistry classes, he began to see how much he could do with math and science.

M.Eng Student William Moore Receives DOE SULI Award

Recent materials science and engineering (MSE) M.Eng graduate William Moore became an expert in connections as one of this year’s recipients of a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program (SULI) Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue STEM Careers by funding 10-week research experiences at one of 17 DOE labs and facilities.