Schools with an Outstanding Materials Engineering Faculty

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New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering

Founded in 1889, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a public university in Socorro, New Mexico. The school offers over thirty bachelor’s degrees in the sciences, engineering, management, technical communications, and technology. It is also home to graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels. According to Newsweek, New Mexico Tech is considered one of the best small science and engineering schools in the US by faculty who work there and by alumni.

NMIMT’s Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering is accredited by ABET and uses the nearby town of Playas, which the school purchased in 2003, as a training ground. Notable alumni include scientists Axel Scherer and Terry Wallace, as well as Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels.

Deep Choudhuri, PhD

Dr. Deep Choudhuri is an assistant professor of materials and metallurgical engineering at New Mexico Tech. His research and academic interests include solid-state phase transformations in high-entropy or complex concentrated alloys, dislocation plasticity and the mechanics of multiphase materials, crystallography and chemical bonding, transmission electron microscopy, integrated computational materials science, and the primary principles of molecular dynamics simulations.

He received his BTech degree in metallurgical and materials engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur and his PhD in materials science and engineering from Michigan State University.

Pabitra Choudhury, PhD

Dr. Pabitra Choudhury is an associate professor of chemical engineering at New Mexico Tech’s Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering. His academic and research interests include multiscale modeling and simulation of materials, surface engineering and catalysis, materials for electronic and thermoelectric devices, materials for solar-electricity and solar-fuel conversion processes, proton transport membranes, sorbent materials, and hydrogen storage materials.

He received his undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and PhD from IIT Bombay and the University of South Florida, respectively.

Chelsey Hargather, PhD

Dr. Chelsey Hargather is an assistant professor of materials and metallurgical engineering at New Mexico Tech’s materials science department. Her research interests and academic foci include the first-principles calculations of self, dilute, and non-dilute diffusion coefficients in fcc and bcc metals, the improvement of Ni-base superalloys used in jet engine applications (applying first-principles calculations), and the database development of Ni-base superalloy systems using a CALPHAD approach. She received her BS in materials science and engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and her PhD in materials science and engineering from Penn State.

Nikolai Kalugin, PhD

Dr. Nikolai Kalugin is a professor of materials and metallurgical engineering at New Mexico Tech. His research interests include optical and electron transport properties of semiconductor nanostructures, graphene studies, graphite studies, carbon nanotubing, THZ lasers and detectors, quantum optics, and chirality. He has taught a wide range of courses in materials and chemical engineering.

He received his PhD in solid-state physics and micro- and nanoelectronics from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, his MS in engineering electrophysics from the Nizhny Novgorod Technical University in Russia, and his BS in applied physics from that same technical university.

Bhaskar Majumdar, PhD

Dr. Bhaskar Majumdar is a professor of materials and metallurgical engineering at New Mexico Tech. His primary research interests are in property relations of materials and microstructure optimization via thermomechanical processing. His research has also focused on XRD and neutron diffraction characterization methods for quantitative phase analysis, as well as texture evolution in multiphase materials following thermomechanical processing. He is an expert in solid-state refrigeration technology and materials.

He has his PhD in materials science from the University of Rochester, his MS in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, and a BTech in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur.

University of Washington, College of Engineering

The University of Washington is a public research university founded in 1861 that offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments and has 46,000 total student enrollment and attendance every year.

In 2017, UW was ranked best in primary care and family medicine, second-best in library and information sciences and clinical psychology, third-best in social work and biostatistics, fourth-best in public affairs, and sixth-best in computer science, nursing and public health by US News & World Report's Best Global Universities report. Its many collaborations with Bill Gates, Paul G. Allen, Nintendo, Microsoft, Boeing, and Amazon have resulted in tremendous research and funding gains.

UW’s Materials Science and Engineering Department offers innovative programs that focus on composite materials manufacturing, structural chemistry, molecular studies, micromaterials, biomaterials, bionanotechnology, ceramics processing, biomimetics, materials characterization, polymers, and metals and alloys.

Lucien Brush, PhD

Dr. Lucien Brush is an associate professor of materials and science engineering at the University of Washington’s Materials Science and Engineering Department, where he teaches computational and theoretical materials processing science. His research foci and academic interests include the dynamics and stability of metallic foams, liquid lamellar drainage and rupture dynamics, spin coating for photovoltaic and other device applications, spin-coat layer thinning, stability and pattern formation, phase separation in spin-coated polymer blends, self assembly of colloidal suspensions for photonic crystals and environmental sensing applications, and crystal growth kinetics and crystal morphologies.

He received his PhD and ME from Carnegie Mellon University and his BES from Johns Hopkins.

Guozhong Cao, PhD

Dr. Guozhong Cao is the Boeing-Steiner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. His research interests and academic foci include the engineering of nano- and microstructures for excitonic solar cells, inverted polymer solar cells, and perovskite solar cells. He studies the design and controlled synthesis of nanostructured electrodes for rechargeable batteries, including alkaline-ion batteries and metal-oxygen batteries. Other interests include electrodes for electric double-layer capacitors and pseudocapacitors; dielectrics, ferroelectrics, and piezoelectrics and devices; nanorod, nanotube, and nanocable arrays; and organic-inorganic hybrids and coatings for sensing, filtration, corrosion protection, and surface modification of materials.

He received his PhD from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, his MS from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, and his BS from the East China University of Science and Technology.

Peter J. Pauzauskie, PhD

Dr. Peter Pauzauskie is an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Washington’s Materials Science and Engineering Department. His research interests and academic foci include Nanoscale Opto-Mechanical Systems (NOMS), vapor-liquid-solid nanowire synthesis, air-sensitive solution-phase synthesis of ternary inorganic nanocrystals, cryogenic visible (and near-infrared) photoluminescence, x-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, cell culturing, nonlinear least-squares data analysis, and computational methods for the simulation of optoelectronic nanostructures.

He received his PhD in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley and his BS in chemical engineering, chemistry, and mathematics from Kansas State University.

Jihui Yang, PhD

Dr. Jihui Yang is a Kyocera Professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. His research focuses on thermoelectric and energy storage materials with an emphasis on design, synthesis, testing, and a more thorough understanding of advanced thermoelectric materials, including Li-ion battery materials for energy conversion and storage.

Previously, he was a lab group manager and technical fellow at the Electrochemical Energy Research Lab at the GM R&D Center in Warren, MI from 1996 to 2011. He has published over 100 papers and holds 19 US patents for engineering materials. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society. He earned his PhD in physics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Miqin Zhang, PhD

University of Washington

Dr. Miqin Zhang is a Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, in addition to her appointment as a full professor of neurological surgery. Her research interests and foci include the development of materials and devices for biomedical applications; research on cancer diagnosis and treatment through imaging enhancement controlled therapeutic in the Nanoparticles Lab; the R&D of biocompatible, porous, and nanofibrous biodegradable scaffolds; and the detection and identification of chemical and biological agents in cell-based sensors. She received her PhD in materials science & engineering from UC Berkeley.

Virginia Tech, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Founded in 1872 as an agricultural and mechanical college, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech, is a land-grant research university located in Blacksburg, Virginia. Through its partnership with the US military (the Corps of Cadets: ROTC program), Virginia Tech is designated as a major senior military college in the States. It offers 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to an average of 34,400 students. Its research budget towers over most other institutions at a combined $522 million. This makes it the largest of any university in Virginia.

Its Department of Materials Science and Engineering focuses on teaching and research in the areas of metals, polymers, composite ceramics, stress testing, biomaterials, electronic materials, and composites. It currently enrolls 200 undergraduate students and 70 graduate students—half of which have taken part in one of the many unique, hands-on internships that VT’s MSE department offers up.

David Bai, PhD

Dr. David Bai is an assistant professor of engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests and instructional foci include computational materials science (from the atomistic to the mesoscale), the radiation effects in nuclear materials, defects and microstructural evolution in metals and oxides, thermal transport in ceramics, phase transformations, granular materials modeling, and the mechanical behavior of various materials. He has been awarded the TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award and the Exceptional Contributions Program Award at the Idaho National Laboratory in 2014. He is a member of the Materials Research Society; the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society; and the American Nuclear Society. He earned his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Celine Hin, PhD

Dr. Celine Hin is an associate professor of materials engineering at Virginia Tech, with a joint associate appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research interests include atomistic computer simulations, thermoelectric materials, nuclear materials, Li-ion batteries, the behavior of materials under extreme conditions, electrochemistry, the development of advanced analytical and numerical methods, theoretical research in physical metallurgy, and statistical and atomic physics. She is affiliated with Sigma Xi, a Society for Scientific Research, and the American Nuclear Society. She received her BS, MS, and PhD in France at the University of Marne La Vallee and the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble.

Mitsuhiro Murayama, PhD

Dr. Mitsuhiro Murayama is an associate professor of materials engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests include nanoscale phase transformations and instabilities, physical metallurgy, phase transformations, and applying electron energy loss spectroscopy and 3D electron microscopy techniques to nanosciences and nanogeochemistry problems. He obtained his BS, MS, and PhD from the University of Tohoku in Japan.

He is deputy director of the Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology and a visiting professor at the Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering at Kyushu University in Japan.

Carolina Tallon, PhD

Dr. Carolina Tallon is an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Virginia Tech’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research interests include ceramics and colloidal processing, surface science and the rheology of suspensions, multi-scale porous ceramic materials, near-net-shaping techniques, properties modeling, the modeling of materials and their predictive performance, nanocomposites, and nanoparticles. She received her BE in chemical engineering from the University of Granada and her PhD in chemistry at the Institute of Ceramic and Glass in Madrid.

Dwight D. Viehland, PhD

Dr. Dwight Viehland is the Jack E. Cowling Professor of Materials Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research foci and academic interests encompass the physics of materials, physical ceramics and metallurgy, ferroelectrics and piezoelectrics, electrical and dielectric properties of materials, structural property relationships, mesoscopic and nanometer physics, the effects of disorder on phase transformation, and various polymers for functional applications. He is a member of the American Ceramic Society, the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, the Microscopy Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He received his BS and MS in ceramic engineering and chemistry from the University of Missouri–Rolla. He went on to earn his PhD in solid-state science from Penn State.


Schools that meet our criteria for designation as one with an outstanding materials engineering department must:

  • Offer comprehensive materials engineering programs that prioritize undergraduate learning
  • Assign a cutting-edge curriculum that integrates research from contemporary scholarship
  • Boast a demonstrated history of student satisfaction in academics, facilities, and curricula
  • Retain a staff of credentialed and peer-reviewed materials engineers

To be marked for inclusion on our list of outstanding materials engineering professors and faculty, we look at the following criteria:

  • University Affiliation: Materials engineering faculty on this list must currently be employed in instruction or research at an accredited university or college.
  • Professional Commitment: Together with whatever research, teaching, or leadership obligations these materials engineering professors might have, some have risen to positions like faculty dean or program director or have taken advisory positions on the boards of firms.
  • Peer Recognition: In their dedication to the practice of engineering, faculty who have set themselves apart may have received special recognition for their published work, prestigious grants or allotments for research or funding, or excellence in teaching awards.
  • Publication: In addition to having been featured extensively in peer-reviewed journals, many of the professionals on our list show publication expertise in the areas of quarterly, personal, and mainstream literature, or have been featured in various media.

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