Over Half of Tenured MSE Professors Are UMD "Research Leaders"

Nine of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)'s sixteen tenured faculty members were recently named "Research Leaders" by the University of Maryland Division of Research for their successful efforts in bringing substantial sponsored research funding to campus. Since 2007, approximately one third to one half of MSE's faculty has been awarded the title each year.

This Year’s Research Leaders

MSE Professor and Chair Robert M. Briber is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of materials science, specializing in the physics of polymers and the structural characterization of soft materials.  He is an expert in the X-ray and neutron scattering of polymers and director of the University of Maryland/NIST program on neutron scattering of advanced materials.

Associate Professor John Cumings is an expert in electron microscopy and a pioneer in observing and testing nanoscale devices in realtime in electron microscopes. His research group's notable accomplishments include the discovery of remote Joule heating, the invention of electron thermal microscopy, and the development of artificial spin ice and nanostructures for batteries and energy storage systems. Cumings is the leader the University of Maryland Energy Frontier Research Center's nanowire team. His work has earned him both an NSF CAREER award and the Clark School's Junior Faculty Outstanding Research Award.

Professor Gottlieb Oehrlein, the director of the Laboratory for Plasma Processing of Materials, focuses on understanding and developing the processes at the plasma-material interface that control the properties of the materials they produce. His group uses low temperature plasma science to produce novel materials, nanoscale structures, and surface modifications of materials, and participates in many collaborations with industrial laboratories and universities around the world. Oehrlein's work has included a study of plasma-materials interactions for fusion reactor design and an exploration of the use of low temperature plasma for disinfection. He is among the 250 most highly cited authors in his discipline over the past three decades, as ranked by Thomson Reuters' ISIHighlyCited.com web site.

Associate Professor Oded Rabin has been recognized for the use of plasmonic nanostructures and self-assembled silver nanocubes to improve the sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), for which he received an NFS CAREER Award; and for his improvement of models that predict the behavior of thermoelectric materials. Rabin is currently collaborating with Agilent Technologies to develop tunable, self-assembled gold nanoparticle-based SERS substrates.

Minta Martin Professor of Engineeringand and Maryland NanoCenter Director Gary Rubloff is known for his innovative work in nanomanufacturing, mesoscale science, and nanoscale materials. His group conducts research in a variety of areas, including semiconductors, nanoscale capacitors, atomic layer deposition, nanostructures for batteries and energy storage systems, bioMEMS devices, biosensing, quantum computing, and electrodeposition of polymers. Rubloff also leads the University of Maryland's Department of Energy-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.

Professor Lourdes Salamanca-Riba’s research is in the areas of self-assembly of semiconductor nanowires and liquid crystal nanocomposites for hybrid photovoltaic applications, DNA-based biosensors, radiation sensors on GaAs, and materials with high C content in the form of nanocarbon called “covetics.” Her work involves the use of transmission electron and atomic force microscopy.

Professor Ichiro Takeuchi specializes in combinatorial materials synthesis, which he and his group use to discover new materials with advanced and tunable properties. His group’s projects have included the discovery of a lead-free piezoelectric material (BSFO) for use in electronics, the design of thin film and multilayer multiferroic devices, a search for ideal shape memory alloys, a new magnetometer design, and the creation of an efficient, solid-state elastocaloric cooling system that could replace compressor-based air conditioning. Takeuchi’s work is supported by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Professor and University of Maryland Research Center Director Eric Wachsman is at the forefront of renewable energy research involving high temperature ceramics. His advances in fundamental ionic transport and electrocatalysis have revolutionized solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), ion transport membranes, electric vehicle energy storage systems, and solid state sensors. Recently, his startup company, Redox, demonstrated its 25kW PowerSERG SOFC system. PowerSERG, and the technology behind it, has been featured in the Washington Post, Forbes, Scientific American, MSNBC, Science, and MIT Technology Review.

Professor and MSE Graduate Program Director Manfred Wuttig is internationally recognized for his transformational contributions to the traditional fields of metallurgy and ceramics into the modern field of functional materials. Most recently, Wuttig's groundbreaking research in the area of multiferroics has paved the way for the design of materials with novel and unique properties, which will have far-reaching implications for several engineering fields. His research projects include the synthesis and characterization of magnetoelectric composites, organic multiferroics for spintronics, and the study of alloys with magnetostrictive properties. He has also collaborated with Takeuchi on the development of the aforementioned solid-state, elastocaloric cooling technology, and received the Clark School's 2013 Senior Faculty research Award.

Published December 3, 2013