Alumnus Named “Breakthrough Star” by University of South Carolina

Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) alumnus and University of South Carolina (SC) professor Jason Hattrick-Simpers (Ph.D. ’07) has was named one of six 2015 Breakthrough Stars by SC’s Office of the Vice President for Research. The annual award “recognizes relatively early-career assistant and associate professors who demonstrate considerable contributions to their field in terms of research and scholarly activity.”

Hattrick-Simpers, who was advised by MSE professor Ichiro Takeuchi during his graduate studies at the University of Maryland, is currently a member of SC’s Department of Chemical Engineering. His research program focuses on the use of high-throughput, combinatorial materials synthesis to rapidly screen, discover, characterize, and optimize new materials for use in energy applications.

While at the Clark School, Hattrick-Simpers received recognition and awards for his research, including an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship. In 2007, he was awarded a NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Metallurgy Group, where he developed a rapid screening technique for measuring the hydrogen storage capacity of thin film composition spread samples. In 2014, his work on oxidation-resistant catalysts was covered by Chemical & Engineering News.

“Jason has been playing an important role in pushing the role of combinatorial experimentation within the Materials Genome Initiative,” says Takeuchi, referring to President Obama’s call to accelerate the discovery of cost-effective materials discoveries that contribute to economic and national security, energy and human health. “Since earning his Ph.D., he has continued developing new applications of the combinatorial strategy, and we have an ongoing collaboration in high-throughput characterization of combinatorial libraries using synchrotron diffraction.”

Recently, Hattrick-Simpers and Takeuchi were among the co-authors of a white paper describing how combinatorial materials science can contribute to the Materials Genome Initiative.

Published February 6, 2015