Illinois MatSE

MatSE moves up to 2nd place in undergraduate rankings

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 14:20  

September 14, 2020.

Materials Science and Engineering at Illinois came in at 2nd place (tied with UC Berkeley) in college rankings for materials programs. Congratulations to all the faculty, staff, and students who make MatSE such a great department! Read more about the US World and News Report rankings. 

Illinois MatSE

Braun and Perry awarded NSF Future Manufacturing Research Grant for high energy density Li-ion batteries

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 12:17  

This National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support fundamental research to develop transformative manufacturing processes for reliable, energy dense, and easily recyclable next generation Lithium-ion batteries. The Illinois Materials Research Laboratory co-principal investigators Professors Paul Braun, Nenad Milkovic, Nicola Perry, and Pingfeng Wang, with co-principal investigator Prof. Marta Hatzell at Georgia Tech, have been awarded $3.25M over 5 years.

MatSE Icon

Freshmen get experiment kits for Intro to Materials Science

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 13:27  

Students taking a (virtual) Introduction to Materials Science got an extra surprise this fall. Professor Pinshane Huang and Teaching Assistant Emiliana Cofell packed and sent boxes of sample materials - experiment kits to be used across the semester.

Welcome video

Video: Upperclassmen welcome freshmen to MatSE at Illinois!

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 16:23  





Chen Group: Machine learning peeks into nano-aquariums

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 12:21  

In the nanoworld, tiny particles such as proteins appear to dance as they transform and assemble to perform various tasks while suspended in a liquid. Recently developed methods have made it possible to watch and record these otherwise-elusive tiny motions, and researchers now take a step forward by developing a machine learning workflow to streamline the process. 


Paul Braun and David Cahill awarded Grainger Distinguished Chairs in Engineering

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 11:48  

Professors David Cahill and Paul Braun have been awarded a Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering. This honor is given in recognition of distinguished scholarly achievements and leadership in promoting collaborative research. 

“The Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Materials Research Laboratory have benefitted immensely from their research and administrative leadership,” said Department Head Nancy Sottos. “We are incredibly fortunate to have them as colleagues and friends.”


Researchers win MURI award to develop new biomaterials

Tue, 08/18/2020 - 15:36  

They may be tiny, but leafhoppers have a super power: they secrete a substance that makes their bodies water-repellant and anti-reflective, which may help them blend in with their surroundings and escape surface tension. Symbiotic bacteria living in the leafhoppers appear to assist in producing the substance and its soccer-ball-shaped nanostructures called brochosomes, but the process is something of a mystery.

Charles Schroeder

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering welcomes Charles Schroeder, Ray and Beverly Mentzer Professor

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 10:38  

Schroeder has been an affiliate faculty in MatSE since 2016 and will join our department as Professor of Materials Science in the Fall of 2020.  He will hold a joint (25%) appointment with Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.


Faculty promotions: Gabrielson, Schleife, Shoemaker

Tue, 08/04/2020 - 09:55  

The department is pleased to announce three new promotions for Nathan Gabrielson, André Schleife, and Daniel Shoemaker, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. We recognize the hard work that goes into this achievement and wish to congratulate them on their new status.

Senior Lecturer, Nathan Gabrielson

CAS Professors

Profs. Moore and Sottos elected as new CAS Professors

Mon, 08/03/2020 - 10:39  

The Center for Advanced Study has appointed seven new members to its permanent faculty, including Nancy Sottos and Jeffrey S. Moore. CAS professors are selected based on their outstanding scholarship, and the appointments are one of the highest forms of campus recognition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Nancy Sottos

Sottos group: Tuning frontal polymerization for diverse material properties

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 15:04  

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have improved the technique of frontal polymerization, where a small amount of heat triggers a moving reaction wave that produces a polymeric material. The new method enables a wider range of materials with better control over their thermal and mechanical properties. 

The paper, “Rapid Synthesis of Elastomers and Thermosets with Tunable Thermomechanical Properties,” was published in ACS Macro Letters and selected as ACS editors’ choice.

Daniel Shoemaker

Shoemaker group to provide materials for new $12.6M Energy Frontier Research Center

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 13:36  

The collaboration was awarded for their proposal “Energy Frontier Research Center for Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials (QSQM).” The center aims to develop and apply nontrivial quantum sensing methods to measure and unravel mysteries associated with three families of quantum materials. These families are exotic superconductors, topological crystalline insulators, and strange metals. Daniel Shoemaker, professor of materials science and engineering, will lead synthesis efforts to grow high-quality crystals of the three families of materials in the Center.

Statt, Chen, Braun

National Science Foundation (NSF) awards EAGER grant to Antonia Statt, Qian Chen and Paul Braun to study micro- and nanoplastics in the environment

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 14:18  

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a two-year, $300,000 EAGER grant to professors of materials science and engineering Antonia Statt, Qian Chen, and Paul Braun for their project on mapping the structure–property relationship of micro- and nanoplastics by in-situ nanoscopic imaging and simulation. 

Qian Chen MURI Grant

Chen lab receives MURI grant as part of study to create new topological mechanical metamaterials

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 15:10  

The grant, which awarded $1.25M to Chen lab by the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative of the Office of Naval Research, is part of a project to study gaps in efforts to realize topological mechanical metamaterials (TMMs) that can change their properties based on external impacts.

Robert Averback

Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert S. Averback Receives 2020 Robert Cahn Award

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 21:19  

Dr. Robert S. Averback, Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering, has been attributed the Robert Cahn Award 2020 by the Journal of Nuclear Materials and the committee of NuMat 2020, the Nuclear Materials Conference, based on his lifelong contribution to the field of nuclear materials. 

This award recognizes a scientist of high academic profile in the field of nuclear materials, who has the ability to communicate science to a broad audience and has demonstrated an interest in breaking down barriers between scientific disciplines.

Microcapsule image

Developing better fabrication techniques for pH-responsive microcapsules

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 15:07  

The Sottos group has developed a new method to create microcapsules, which are tiny droplets surrounded by a solid shell. The technique can be used to make microcapsules that respond to changes in pH, which are useful for applications such as anti-corrosion coatings.

The study, “Fabrication of pH-responsive monodisperse microcapsules using interfacial tension of immiscible phases,” was published in the journal Soft Matter.

Saran Pidaparthy

Graduate student Saran Pidaparthy receives Science Graduate Student Research Award from the DOE

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 12:05  

Saran Pidaparthy, a MatSE PhD student in Professor Zuo’s lab, is one of 12 students to receive the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program award and will be given the chance to broaden his thesis research on fast charging lithium-ion electrode materials at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory with Dr. Daniel Abraham. 

Hua Wang

MatSE welcomes new assistant professor, Dr. Hua Wang

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 14:20  

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering welcomes Hua Wang, a new assistant professor, who will start his position in August, 2020. 

Hua Wang joins the department after completing a postdoctoral position with Professor David J. Mooney’s group at Harvard University from 2016 - 2020. He completed a B.S. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2012, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Urbana-Champaign in 2016.

Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates!

Mon, 05/18/2020 - 20:42  

In case you missed it!