Faculty

Amir Saeidi: Making Connections to Make a Difference

The first time he learned about the science behind teaching, Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor of Teaching Amir Saeidi knew how he wanted to make a difference. The social sciences and humanities students in his pedagogical fellowship program were all familiar with concepts like active learning, but Saeidi had never seen anything like them in his engineering classes and decided he needed to use and promote that.

Professor Emeritus Jeffery Gibeling Named Interim Vice Chancellor of Research

University of California, Davis, Chancellor Gary S. May has appointed Professor Emeritus Jeffery Gibeling to serve as the interim vice chancellor for research effective March 1. May will form a recruitment advisory committee soon to conduct a nationwide search for the next vice chancellor. He anticipates Gibeling will serve in the interim role for approximately six months.

Alumni Robert and Carolyn Caligiuri Establish Professor Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship in Materials Science

Alumni Robert ’73 and Carolyn Caligiuri ’74 have given a $1.27 million endowment to the MSE department at UC Davis to establish the Amiya Mukherjee Memorial Fellowship in honor of Robert Caligiuri’s first mentor. The gift, the largest ever to MSE, will support competitive doctoral students and boost the department's stature.

Marina Leite Elected IEEE Senior Member

In June 2022, Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor and UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow Marina S. Leite was elevated to senior member status by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Senior membership is the highest grade that IEEE members can apply for, and achieving this honor requires an extensive professional background in IEEE-designated fields over the span of ten years with five years of significant performance.

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

June 2022 Update

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Sangtae Kim. He is remembered as a wonderful colleague, an expert in defect chemistry and electrochemistry, an inspiring instructor and an amazing goalie in the department’s student/faculty soccer games.

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.