Developing Life-Like Synthetic Cells

Materials Science and Engineering Ph.D. candidate Pallavi D. Sambre is taking the first steps toward engineering lifelike artificial materials that reconstitute a cell’s ability to change their membrane shape to move from one part of the body to another.

Student Spotlight: Sevag Momjian

The natural curiosity about the world Sevag Momjian '22 has always had led him to materials science and engineering, and he's excited to help the field realize its potential to solve some of the greatest challenges of the 21st Century.

MSE Celebrates the Class of 2022

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) celebrated its graduating seniors from the class of 2022 during the Senior Send-off held on Sunday, June 12, 2022. The graduates and their families were invited to Kemper Hall after the main graduation ceremony held at UC Davis Health Stadium to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.

Student Spotlight: Chad Serrao

After completing a bachelor's degree in philosophy, Chad Serrao '22 decided to go back to school to pursue engineering and became hooked on materials science and engineering and looks forward to playing a role in using the field to build a sustainable future.

Student Spotlight: Avery Adams

Avery Adams '22 was drawn to materials science and engineering because of the versatility of the field that allows her to do both experimental and applied work for a wide range of fields.

Student Spotlight: Pooja Rao

Pooja Rao '22 thought she would get her B.S. and immediately leave academia, but she developed a love for research as part of Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja's group and decided to continue her studies as a master's student.

Meghna Srivastava Receives Jeffery C. Gibeling Award for Best Master’s Thesis

Meghna Srivastava is this year’s recipient of the of the College of Engineering’s Jeffery C. Gibeling Master’s Thesis Excellence Award, which recognizes the M.S. student who has submitted the best master's thesis. Srivastava earned her M.S. in materials science and engineering under the mentorship of Associate Professor Marina Leite.

Ph.D. Student Margaret Duncan Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Second-year materials science and engineering Ph.D. student Margaret Duncan, part of Associate Professor Marina Leite’s lab, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship is the oldest and one of the most prestigious of its kind and it recognizes and supports outstanding STEM graduate students who have the potential to become knowledgeable experts and significantly contribute to research, teaching, and innovation.

Hot and Cold

UC Davis engineers are innovating at high and low temperatures to enable travel at hypersonic speeds and sustainably keep food safe and fresh, respectively.

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.

Scott McCormack Receives $1.4M to Study Ultra-High Temperature Ceramic Processing

Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Scott McCormack and his team received $1.4M from the Air Force Office of Science and Research to reduce uncertainty and standardized processing techniques for ultra-high temperature ceramics.

Ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) are ceramic materials that melt at temperatures above 3000˚C, nearly 5500˚F. Their ability to withstand extreme heat loads makes them ideal for building hypersonic vehicles and platforms, but UHTCs can be difficult to process reliably.

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.

Student Spotlight: Ethan Suwandi

One of materials science and engineering major Ethan Suwandi’s favorite things to do is “nerd out” about materials with his friends, classmates and professors at UC Davis.

“It’s very cathartic, at least for me,” he said. “Materials is a niche topic that you can’t discuss with many people, so I think all of us would take the chance to say, ‘look at this cool thing I found’ or ‘look at this cool thing I’m researching and let me tell you all about the mechanisms behind it!’”

Student Spotlight: Griffin Hart

Recent materials science and engineering graduate Griffin Hart ’21 used UC Davis to try college a second time and was able to make the most of his experience.

Hart started college at Humboldt State University, but didn’t know what he wanted to do. This made him feel unmotivated and that was reflected in his grades, so he moved home and enrolled in community college. He became interested in sustainability and through his calculus, physics and chemistry classes, he began to see how much he could do with math and science.

Unfold: The Science of Superheroes

Professor Ricardo Castro teaches engineering students to think outside the box and to contemplate the unlikely, but not always impossible, real-world applications of materials science based on the powers of superheroes.

M.Eng Student William Moore Receives DOE SULI Award

Recent materials science and engineering (MSE) M.Eng graduate William Moore became an expert in connections as one of this year’s recipients of a Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program (SULI) Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue STEM Careers by funding 10-week research experiences at one of 17 DOE labs and facilities.