Hattrick-Simpers Wins NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Fellowship

"Jae is very versatile and hardworking. He played a crucial role in setting up a number of important experiments in my group over the years. I hope to continue to work with him."

MSE Associate Professor Ichiro Takeuchi

Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) graduate student Jason "Jae" Hattrick-Simpers has been awarded a fellowship from the prestigious NIST/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associateships Program. The program provides two-year temporary appointments for outstanding scientists and engineers chosen through a national competition administered by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Hattrick-Simpers, advised by Associate Professor Ichiro Takeuchi, won for his proposal titled "A New Quantitative Metrology and Combinatorial Thin Film Approach for the Measurement of Hydrogen Storage Properties." He is scheduled to begin his position at NIST in fall 2007, after his Ph.D. defense this summer.

Hattrick-Simpers will be working with the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory's (MSEL) Metallurgy Group, developing a rapid screening technique for measuring the hydrogen storage capacity of thin film composition spread samples. The project’s goal is to provide industry and academia with a quantitative technique for measuring hydrogen storage properties of thin film samples and to expedite the discovery of new hydrogen storage materials that will meet Department of Energy requirements. Hattrick-Simpers is excited about the work, recently telling us, "This fellowship gives me the opportunity to do cutting-edge research in a large, well-equipped government lab in a socially relevant field."

Hattrick-Simpers' association with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering began when he joined the Clark School as a summer undergraduate research fellow while attending Rowan University in New Jersey. After spending two summers in the program, he became a MSE graduate student and received an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship.

He classifies his area of research as combinatorial materials science, with a concentration in developing high-throughput characterization techniques for studying the magnetic properties of materials samples he creates with Takeuchi in the lab. He credits his University of Maryland and MSE experience for preparing him for the task ahead: "Working in Dr. Takeuchi's lab for the past five years, I've had the opportunity to work with and develop rapid characterization techniques for various material properties. This broad experience will be an aid to me as I begin this new project."

Published June 6, 2007