News Stories

Pinshane Huang receives Presidential Early Career Award

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 13:55  

The highest honor the government can bestow on independent researchers is the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. MatSE is proud to announce that Professor Pinshane Huang was chosen for her "exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology."

Read the White House's press release here.

Scientists often build new protein molecules by stringing groups of amino acids together. These amino acid chains, called polypeptides, are the building blocks needed in drug development and the creation of new biomaterials.  The process for building polypeptides is difficult, however. Researchers report that they have developed a faster, easier and cheaper method for making new polypeptides than was previously available. The new approach uses a streamlined process that purifies the amino acid precursors an

Researchers develop fast, efficient way to build amino acid chains

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:30  

JUN 6, 2019 8:30 AM BY ANANYA SEN  | NEWS BUREAU SCIENCE WRITER  | 217-333-5802

Scientists often build new protein molecules by stringing groups of amino acids together. These amino acid chains, called polypeptides, are the building blocks needed in drug development and the creation of new biomaterials.

SEM image of ruptured microcapsules containing a healing agent.

Materials Today Lab Profile: Nancy Sottos

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:00  

Imagine polymer materials that can heal themselves when damaged or change color when under stress. Or polymer gels that can mimic blood clotting to protect and regenerate damaged vascular networks. Nancy Sottos of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) did just that and has devoted her career to the development of materials systems inspired by nature’s ability to design self-healing, self-regenerating, self-reporting, and self-protecting materials.

2019 Student Awardees

2019 Undergraduate Student Awards

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:30  

Congratulations Undergraduate Awardees!

2019 Alfred W. Allen Awardees


A. I. Andrews Scholar

Xuyang Tang

Clifford M. Andrews Scholars

Qiuhui Cai

Kevin Lee

Samuel Li

Professor James Economy

Professor James Economy and family establish named Professorship

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 15:30  

The James Economy Professorship will support MatSE in the recruitment of established researchers dedicated to the development of new materials for societal purposes. The Professorship was announced at a 90thbirthday celebration held in March 2019 and attended by colleagues of the past and present, former students, and family.

MatSE Students Win National Awards

MatSE Students Honored with National Awards

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 13:30  

Congratulations to all the students who have received national-level awards!

Three students, Erick Ivan Hernandez Alvarez, Kathleen Oolman, and Grace Lu, and have been awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Dallas Trinkle, 2019 Brimacombe Medalist

Dallas Trinkle receives 2019 Brimacombe Medal from TMS

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 16:15  

The Brimacombe Medal recognizes mid-career individuals with sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering and with a record of continuing service to the profession.

Trinkle was chosen for his significant contributions to the prediction of alloying efforts on diffusion, solid solution strengthening and softening, and for exemplary service to TMS.

Materials science and engineering professor Qian Chen, center, and graduate students Binbin Luo, left, and Ahyoung Kim find inspiration in biology to help investigate how order emerges from self-assembling building blocks of varying size and shape.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:15  


Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure. However, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.

Jessica Krogstad

Jessica Krogstad receives the Robert L. Coble Award for Young Scholars from the American Ceramics Society.

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:00  

The award recognizes an outstanding scientist who is conducting research in academia, industry, or at a government-funded laboratory. It honors the late Professor Robert L. Coble, whose lifelong mission was to enhance the achievement and advancement of young ceramic scientists.

Dr. Robert Maass

Robert Maass awarded the Masing Memorial Medal from the German Materials Society (DGM)

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 13:30  

Since 1957, the Masing Memorial Medal has recognized the best contribution in materials science of a young scientist and member of the society. This year, Robert Maass’ recent work in the area of strain-localization and discrete plasticity in metals was honored. The award is named after Georg Masing, the first chair of the Institute of Metals Physics (now Institute of Materials Physics) at the University of Goettingen and honorary chair of the DGM.

Pinshane Huang

Pinshane Huang awarded NSF Career Award

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 11:15  

Pinshane Huang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has been granted an National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award

NSF CAREER grants are given to young faculty who demonstrate great potential early in their careers. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

2018 Distinguished Merit Awardee: Dr. Kenneth W. Hang

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 14:15  

Kenneth Hang, B.S. ’66; Ph.D. ’70: The satisfaction of success through collaboration

by Ananya Sen

2018 Loyalty Award: Robert J. Musur

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 14:15  

Robert Musur, BS ’74: Hard work is a reward in itself

by Ananya Sen

Degrees in Metallurgical Engineering, Business Administration, and Law are seldom earned by the same person. However, Robert Musur earned all three over the course of 11 years. His unusual career path has ranged from being an employee at a steel mill to working for KPMG. His career achievements have earned him the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC. 

Nancy Sottos

Nancy Sottos selected for Swanlund endowed chair

Sat, 02/09/2019 - 14:45  

Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering in the department of materials science and engineering and leads the Autonomous Materials Systems group in the Beckman Institute. The Swanlund chair is the highest endowed title bestowed upon faculty at the University.

Her research interests include polymers and composites capable of self-healing and regeneration, mechanochemically active polymers, tailored interfaces and novel materials for more reliable energy storage. She is a Fellow of the Society of Engineering Science and the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

David Cahill

David Cahill appointed Associate in the Center for Advanced Study

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 12:00  

The Center for Advanced Study (CAS) is charged with promoting the highest levels of scholarship and discourse at the University of Illinois. The Center also serves as the primary formal venue on our campus for various types of scholarly interaction and creative activity across academic disciplines. It sponsors workshops and seminars, supports new scholarship, and brings to campus more than thirty distinguished scholars, writers, and artists each academic year, in collaboration with other units of the University.

Axel Hoffmann

Dr. Axel Hoffmann will join the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Materials Research Laboratory as a Distinguished Faculty Hire

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 16:15  

Dr. Hoffmann received his Ph.D. in 1999 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining Argonne National Laboratory as a staff scientist in 2001. His research accomplishments encompass a variety of magnetism-related subjects, including magnetic heterostructures, spin transport and magnetization dynamics in novel  geometries, and biomedical applications of magnetism. Dr. Hoffmann is a pioneering investigator of spin Hall effects, which have given rise to an important new field of materials physics, now known as spin-orbitronics.

A new way to think about the movement of atoms in a material

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:15  

University of Illinois materials scientist, Dallas Trinkle, has developed a comparative framework for evaluating models of diffusion, creating opportunities for the development of new or combined models. The paper, “Variation Principle for Mass Transport,” is published in Physical Review Letters, and has been highlighted by the American Physical Society.

Pinshane Huang named Highly Cited Researcher

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:15  

Assistant Professor Pinshane Huang has been named to the 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics.

MatSE alumna, Arielle Gross, named in Forbes 30 under 30 for marketing and advertising in 2019

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 09:30  

Arielle Gross leads strategy, business, communication, and management initiatives for Facebook's Global Business Marketing and Creative Shop organizations. She founded the Cannected events series, helped launch Facebook's #MoreLikeMe initiative in partnership with HP Inc. and serves as the Facebook representative for the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change. She founded the Arielle Gross Engineering Visionary Scholarship Fund at the University of Illinois.