Faculty

NSLS-II User Profile: Roopali Kukreja, UC Davis

To investigate the functional properties of electronic and magnetic materials, Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja leverages the coherent and highly stable x-ray beams available at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Comic-book science and science comic books

This Newscriptster has always loved a good fantasy epic or sci-fi adventure as an escape from ordinary reality. But sometimes it’s fun to mix fantasy and reality. In fact, there’s a whole subgenre of science communication exploring how stuff from books and movies stacks up against real-world science.

Faculty Spotlight: Yayoi Takamura

I received my B.S. from Cornell University in 1998 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 2000 and 2004, respectively, all in Materials Science and Engineering. I was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley with Professor Yuri Suzuki in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering before joining the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UC Davis in July 2006. After serving as Vice-Chair from 2017-2020, I became the first female chair of the department at UC Davis in July 2020.

Faculty Spotlight: Marina Leite

I did my undergrad in chemistry and Ph.D. in physics, both in Brazil. While a Ph.D. student, I was a visiting researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart (Germany) and at the Department of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) working with semiconductor materials. I started working with solar cells when I was a post-doctoral scholar at Caltech between 2008 and 2011. After a 2-year appointment at NIST, I moved to the University of Maryland as an assistant professor, and then became an associate professor. I am currently an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellow.

Professor Ricardo Castro featured in New York Times' Wirecutter

Professor Ricardo Castro speaks with Ellen Airhart from The New York Times' Wirecutter on nanotechnology. In this article titled Paying More for Nano-Textured Glass (Probably) Isn’t Worth It, Professor Castro talks about the value of nanotechnology in the development of screen glass for cellphones and computer monitors. Currently, nanotechnology is utilized to strengthen screens as well as reduce glare — but is it worth the price markup? Read the full article on Wirecutter

Seung Sae Hong Receives NSF CAREER Award

Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Seung Sae Hong recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (NSF CAREER) Award. The CAREER award is the agency’s highest honor for young faculty. It recognizes those with the potential to be leaders in their fields and funds five-year research and education projects that should serve as the foundation for their careers.

Marina Leite Named UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow

Materials science and engineering associate professor Marina Leite has been named a 2022 UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow. The fellowship program, now in its 22nd year, recognizes and supports outstanding early-career faculty members at UC Davis. Chancellor’s Fellows receive a one-time award to support research, teaching and service and hold the title for five years.

In Memoriam: Dr. Amiya Mukherjee

In his five-decade career, Mukherjee single-handedly founded the materials science program at UC Davis, became an internationally-recognized leader in metallurgy, mechanical creep and nanoceramics and inspired generations of students and colleagues through his teaching, mentorship and friendship.

MSE Celebrates the Career of Professor Sangtae Kim

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering celebrates the career of Professor Sangtae Kim, who retired in June 2021. In 17 years at UC Davis, Kim established himself as an expert in electrochemistry and thermodynamics in research and teaching, a tough but patient mentor and a friend and colleague who cared deeply about the success of his students.

Roopali Kukreja wins DOE Early Career Award

Materials science and engineering assistant professor Roopali Kukreja has received a prestigious Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE early career award, now in their 12th year, recognize and support the research of early-career outstanding scientists and engineers in the U.S. The award provides graduate student support, summer salary and research expenses intended to last five years.

Scott McCormack wins NSF CAREER Award

Materials science and engineering assistant professor Scott McCormack has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award. The award recognizes young faculty who have the potential to be leaders in their fields as researchers and educators by funding projects that should serve as the foundation for the rest of their careers.

Ricardo Castro and the Science of Superheroes

Materials science and engineering (MSE) professor Ricardo Castro may not be as much of a “mad scientist” as Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he does dare to ask intriguing questions like, “why must Thor’s hammer (Mjölnir) be thought of as a fictional item, unachievable in the real world?”

Jeffery Gibeling wins TMS Oleg D. Sherby Award

Materials science and engineering (MSE) professor Jeffery Gibeling has won the 2021 Oleg D. Sherby Award from the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). The award, named in honor of materials science trailblazer Oleg Sherby, recognizes individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to understanding how materials behave at high temperatures.

Zuhair A. Munir honored for contributions to ceramic engineering

Materials science and engineering distinguished professor emeritus and College of Engnieering dean emeritus Zuhair A. Munir was recognized for his lifetime achievements in the field of ceramic engineering with the 2021 James I. Mueller Memorial Award from the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) Engineering Ceramics Division. He will be honored at the 45th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites, where he will deliver the Keynote Plenary Lecture virtually on February 8, 2021.

Jeremy Mason named UC Davis Hellman Fellow

Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Jeremy Mason joins the class of 2021 UC Davis Hellman Fellows. The unique Hellman Fellows Program helps promising assistant professors bridge the funding gap between start-up funding and securing competitive external grants.

Yayoi Takamura named MSE department chair

Professor Yayoi Takamura is the new chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Department, effective July 1. A long-time leader in the department, Takamura joined UC Davis in 2006 and had been vice chair of the MSE department since 2017. She also served on the Dean’s faculty advisory committee from 2016-17 and was chair of the College of Engineering graduate study committee from 2018-20. She plans to bring her experience with her to her new role.

Leveraging industry partnerships to teach remotely

The materials science and engineering (MSE) department is leveraging its industry connections and forging new partnerships to give students the best experience while teaching spring 2020 remotely. Professor Klaus van Benthem and Assistant Professor of Teaching Susan Gentry have worked with the software company COMSOL and the manufacturer KLA Corporation to keep students learning in this challenging environment.

Subhash Risbud receives ACerS W. David Kingery Award

Materials science and engineering distinguished professor Subhash Risbud was honored with the American Ceramic Society’s W. David Kingery Award, which recognizes distinguished lifelong achievements with a multidisciplinary, global impact on ceramic technology, science, education and art.