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.

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: 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.

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.