Winter 1999
Vol1. No.3


Materials Nuclear Reliability

Message from the Chair

Aris Christou

The year 1998 has been a year of significant achievements for the Department. We have successfully implemented the new Bachelor of Science (BS), degree program in Materials Science and Engineering and a new concentration of Software Reliability. We have received the first students to these new degree programs. These programs reflect the dedication of our faculty to teaching excellence and in maintaining the department at the forefront of education in Materials, Reliability, and Nuclear Engineering.

In Fall and Winter 1998, the department also made significant changes in all of its graduate programs in order to meet student requirements in specific areas. The Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program has added new graduate courses in electronic materials, ferroelectric and ferromagnetic materials, smart materials, and polymer synthesis. We now offer three concentrations at the graduate level in the areas of electronic materials, ceramic and polymers, and structural materials. Reliability Engineering courses had been augmented by a series of courses in software reliability. We now offer, the first in the nation, Software Reliability as part of the Reliability Engineering Program. We have added new courses in microelectronics reliability and risk technology and have initiated new concentrations in Risk Reliability Technologies. A series of new graduate courses have been added in radiation engineering in order to reflect the new directions of nuclear engineering. These courses include radiation effects in materials and electronics and radiation processing for manufacturing. A new concentration in radiation engineering at the graduate level was initiated during the Fall 1998 semester.

Our educational efforts at the undergraduate level concentrates on redirection of the BS program in nuclear engineering through an emphasis on risk and radiation sciences. We introduced a new heat transfer course with help from Mechanical Engineering.

From an infrastructure point of view, continuous improvement took place in Winter 1999. The LAMP (Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing) facility became fully operational in 1997 and was expanded in 1998, offering complete device processing and thin film metallization capabilities. Our transmission microscopy laboratories were completed as well as a new magnetic materials and electrical measurement laboratory. We have completed the Risk Technologies laboratory in Marie Mount Hall and the Risk Analysis laboratories in Marie Mount Hall. As I am in my sixth year as chairman, I am exceptionally proud of the progress our faculty, students, and staff have achieved. This newsletter contains only a small segment of the Departments activities during Fall of 1998 and Winter of 1999

Aris Christou

Department News

I am delighted to inform you that Dr. Jeong H. Kim, who received the first Ph.D. in Reliability Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Ali Mosleh, has agreed to contribute a total of $5M over the next decade to fund an information technology endowment to include, 3 Chairs, 2 Professorships, a scholarship fund, and a small endowment to support the IT needs of the new Engineering and Applied Sciences Building to be constructed starting in the year 2000. In recognition of this gift, President Mote will recommend to the Board of Regents that the new building be named the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

I also want to thank Prof. Mosleh and Dr. Herb Rabin, whose early positive interactions with Dr. Kim have led to this wonderful outcome for the Clark School.

Bill Destler
Dean of Engineering


FY 1999 Higher Materials Research Budget

Included in President Clinton’s proposed budget for 1999 is an additional $13.4M for materials research, equating to a 7.2% increase over last year’s proposals. The figure includes 10.2% more for the National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Support Project made up of $1.98M (5.1%) more to update facilities and instrumentation, and $2.33M (4%) for Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers. Thomas Weber, the NSF’s director for materials research, says more has gone into the MRSECs because the Agency is to phase out a number of its Science and Technology Centers next year.

Other increases in NSF funding with materials impact include $78M more for the knowledge and distributed intelligence initiative, some of which will be for computer simulations of materials, and $88M more for Life and Earth’s Environment, part of which will support efforts to create new and more environmentally benign science. The number of research proposals from this department to NSF, DOE and DOD has increased by over 20 percent over a comparable period in 1997-98.

1998 Department Colloquium Series

The following presentations were part of the Fall 1998 Colloquium:

"Research Activities of Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering - An Overview for Graduate Students"
by Dr. Aris Christou
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
September 4, 1998

"Molecular Mechanisms in Smart Materials"
by Dr. Robert E. Newnham
Intercollege Materials Research Laboratory
Penn State University
University Park, PA
September 14, 1998
" Using Supercomputers to Design and Model Novel Materials"

by Dr. Steven L. Richardson
Howard University
Washington, DC
September 18, 1998

"Post Design Applications of CFD Codes in French PWR Vessels"
by Dominique Alvarez
É lectricité De France
Direction Des Études Et Recherches
Laboratoire National D'Hydraulique
October 9, 1998

"High Performance Semiconductor Lasers and Semiconductor Laser Amplifiers"
by Dr. Mario Dagenais
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland
October 23, 1998

"PWR Small Break LOCA and Long Term Cooling"
by Dr. Leonard Ward
Scientech, Inc.
Rockville, MD
October 30, 1998

"The Fundamentals of Severe Accident Management"
by Dr. Theo G. Theofanous
University of California at Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
November 6, 1998

"Engineering Stable Magnetorheological (Mr) Fluids for Vibration Control and
Other Applications"
by Dr. Pradeep P. Phulé
William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
November 13, 1998

"Opportunities and Challenges in the Development of High Performance Materials for Gas Microsensors"
by Dr. Stephen Semancik
Process Management Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg MD 20899
November 20, 1998<

"New Technological Solutions to the Thermal Problem in Microelectronics"
by Paul Boudreaux
Technical Director
Laboratory for Physical Sciences
National Security Agency
December 4, 1998

"DNA Integrated with Semiconductor for High Density Memory"
by Mohamad Al-Sheikhly
Assistant Professor and Director of Maryland University Training Reactor (MUTR)
University of Maryland
December 11, 1998

Nuclear Enrollments Captures Attention of Universities, Government and Industry

The flow of graduates coming through the nation’s nuclear engineering programs has slowed dramatically over the past two decades. "We need to fill the pipeline" of students majoring in nuclear engineering, said Carl Terry, vice president of nuclear safety at Niagara Mohawk Corp. Terry was one of the more than a dozen panelists at "Crisis in the Workplace-Human Resource Supply and Demand in the Nuclear Industry," sponsored December (1998) by the Nuclear Energy Institute at the winter meeting of the American Nuclear Society.

The potential crisis is not restricted to nuclear utilities-though they will bear the brunt of it. All Americans will feel the consequences.

"Whether you’re pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear or agnostic about nuclear issues…there are legacy issues that we will have to deal with for generations," said Thomas Isaacs of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The United States needs a steady stream of nuclear engineers to adequately address nuclear waste management, dispose of nuclear weapons, and proceed with a number of environmental clean-up activities, he explained.

Moreover, healthy nuclear engineering programs are needed to ensure continued U.S. influence in international nuclear issues. "You can’t turn the faucet of knowledge off and on," said Jeffrey Freidberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Already, "demand is outstripping supply," largely because nuclear engineering enrollments have fallen about 60 percent during the 1990s, said Commonwealth Edison’s Bill Naughton.

The decline in nuclear engineering enrollments and graduation rates actually began in 1979-coincident with the accident at Three Mile Island and the decision by many utilities to cancel nuclear plant orders. Undergraduate enrollments since then have fallen from 1,800 to 600 in 1997, said DOE’s John Gutteridge. This department however, has maintained its enrollment after the initial drop in 1989-90.


Until now, the nuclear industry has avoided the impact of the shortfall-largely because electric utilities have spent much of the 1990s downsizing in preparation for retail competition.

That situation isn’t likely to change for the next three to five years, as utilities "leverage existing nuclear talent…to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible," said Amy Clark, a human resources official at Virginia Power. Cost pressures are so great, she said, that many companies have downsized their training departments, which in turn has forced them to hire experienced nuclear engineers "who can hit the ground running," rather than new graduates.

Clark acknowledged that the lack of utility hiring has a profound effect on nuclear engineering enrollments. Nonetheless, because of competitive pressures, "the industry is not in a position to create artificial demand to keep the pipeline filled," she said.

Within the next 10 years, however, demand will be anything but artificial.

Experts said that regulatory initiatives and utility interest in renewing nuclear plant operating licenses would fuel demand for nuclear engineers. In addition, utilities soon will need new blood as older engineers reach retirement age. "Six to 10 years out, we will lose 25 percent of our engineering talent," Clark said.

Growing concern about greenhouse gas emissions and increasingly stringent Clean Air Act requirements also could boost the need for nuclear engineers to run existing power plants and build new ones, since nuclear energy is America’s largest source of emission-free electricity.

Department Researchers Martinez-Miranda, Ramesh, Christou, Kofinas Developing Material for Displays

Department faculty continue to make progress in the area of liquid crystal displays, solid state lasers (VCSELs), and electroluminescent displays for future flat panel displays. As part of the research undertaken in the MRSEC thin film laboratory, the faculty is addressing issues related to displays.

Another potentially interesting flat panel solution is offered by organic light emitting materials. First demonstrated in their present form a decade ago, organic electroluminescent devices (OLEDs) can now emit light several times while working at less than ten volts. Good processability at low temperatures makes it easy to integrate such materials with other semiconductor technologies. Weak inter-molecular bonding results in flexible thin films that can be grown, without demanding epitaxy processes, on plastic substrates so light that a 17in OLED-based display might weigh a mere few ounces. Transistors grown like this on plastic substrates could result, among other prospects, in credit card-sized computers.

A typical OLED comprises three organic layers, separately optimized for charge carrier transport and light emission, sandwiched between hole and electron-injecting electrodes within a device just a few hundred nanometers thick. The hole-injecting electrode, of transparent indium tin oxide semiconductor, forms the display face.

To unlock the considerable promise offered by OLEDs, several materials issues must be solved. Combinations of organic and semiconductor materials are required. Motorola, with researchers from this department among other organizations, is addressing the FED solution since this offers some of the advantages of the CRT – brightness, contrast, wide viewing angle, response speed and the visual comfort of phosphors – in a flat package. However, in this case the emission process relies on a cold cathode. Electrons emitted from millions of tiny metal ‘microtips’ under the influence on an applied voltage pass through corresponding holes or ‘gates’ in an accelerating anode to impinge on colour phosphors lining the inside of a display screen, so creating colour imagery. Every pixel has its own set of cathodes comprising hundreds of microtips. Pixels are individually addressable via a cathode matrix.

The technology is inherently robust, all display elements being contained within two glass plates spaced just millimeters apart, as well as being highly controllable and power efficient.

Solid state laser arrays called VCSELs are also potential candidates for displays. This technology is also under development in the Department’s LAMP facility and is part of the Center for Optoelectronic Packaging and Devices.

Faculty News

Dr. Gary Rubloff

Gary Rubloff (Professor in the Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering and Director for the Institute for Systems Research, ISR) is part of a team of four people who received an NSF/SRC grant to pursue advanced operational methods as applied to semiconductor manufacturing. The 1.2M award, covering three years, is highly cross-disciplinary, involving Michael Fu (BMGT/ISR, as PI), Steve Marcus (EE/ISR), and Jeffrey Hermann (ME/ISR). The program will address two major issues in semiconductor manufacturing. First, process models will be integrated with operational scheduling methods to provide insight into the relationship between equipment design and architecture, process technology evolution, and operational algorithms, for improved decision-making at the sector (multi-process-step) level. Second, predictive approaches involving Markov decision processes will be employed to optimize the management of capital equipment and operations during the evolution of the technology in a factory, as incremental changes are made to processes, equipment, and design.

Dr. John Kidder

We are happy to announce the addition of John Kidder to the faculty. Dr. Kidder received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Washington, working in the area of nitride materials. He is presently investigating epitaxial growth of nitrides.

Dr. Peter Kofinas

We are happy to announce that Peter Kofinas is the recipient of the NSF Career Award. This highly prestigious award recognizes junior faculty in the area of research and teaching. Peter Kofinas' teaching excellence and innovation in the areas of Introduction to Materials Science and Polymeric Materials, along with his research in Block CoPolymer Nanostructures has received recognition by the National Science Foundation.

On behalf of the Department, we congratulate Peter, and wish him continued success in research, teaching and thank him for his dedication and service to the Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering.

Dr. Ali Mosleh

The International Society for Risk Analysis selected Dr. Ali Mosleh as a Fellow. Over the past three year the society has given the title to only one other member. He was recognized at the December annual meeting of SRA in Arizona.

Winter Commencement Graduates of the Department

Bachelor of Science

Applied Science
Harry Lawrence Blake Nuclear Engineering
Dennis Augusto Garcia
Edward H. Meehan III

George Adreas Konstantakopoulos

Masters of Science Engineering Materials
Michael Adam
La Rhonda Terese Borum
Yiqun Li
Timir Kumar Misra
Anand Ramesh

Nuclear Engineering
Amani Carter
Ali Bellou Mohamed
Brian Flint Rauch

Reliability Engineering
Manish Agarwal
Nicholas Jerome Bahr
Gopi Krishna Mandela
Congmin Niu

Doctor of Philosophy
Materials Science and Engineering
Li-Te Ho
Sucharita Madhukar
Hsiang-Yi Wei

Nuclear Engineering
Kevin C. Greenaugh
Seyed M. Hadavi
Evaldas Zvinys

Reliability Engineering
Yuan Chen
Donald W. Sova

Student Societies

American Nuclear Society (ANS)

Dennis Garcia received an award from the Washington, DC Chapter of ANS for meritorious service to the student section of ANS at the University of Maryland.

John Singleton received the four following honors:

Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering Outstanding Senior Award, ANS Washington, DC section Senior Award, ANS Washington, DC section award for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to the ANS student section at the University of Maryland, and as Senior Marshal at the Spring 1998 graduation commencement ceremony.

ANS student section visited and toured Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania on Friday, April 17.

ANS student section donated $3,486.71 in purple Giant receipts to Richard Henry Lee Elementary School in Glen Burnie, MD to help to obtain computer software, textbooks, and other needed materials and supplies.

ANS student section attended the 1998 ANS Northern Region Student Conference at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Seven ANS members, three undergraduates and three graduates attend the conference, which was held April 2-5, 1998.

Dennis Garcia and Mike Holmes, two undergraduate members of the ANS student chapter have been awarded engineering internship positions and will spend the summer of 1998 working at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.

Ted Meehan, also an undergraduate member of the ANS, has been awarded an internship position and will spend the Summer working in the Nuclear Engineering Department at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station.

John Singleton, who graduated in May 1998, has accepted a full time position in the Nuclear Fuel Management group at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station.

Materials Research Society (MRS)

A total of eight graduate students attended the December MRS meeting in Boston. The students were especially active in the Symposia on Ferroelectric Thin Films and on GaN. Daniel Young mad an oral presentation of his work on optical properties of PLZT materials. Wendy Sarney presented her work on strain in heterostructures.

The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS)

The TMS student society has its kick off meeting for undergraduate students on November 11, 1999. In addition, the organization received space allocation for its undergraduate office and lounge. All materials students and encouraged to attend and join the TMS society.

Student News

Scholarships and Fellowships

Alvin James Henry received the Jack I. and Dorothy G. Bender Scholarship. Alvin is in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Golden Key National Honor Society, and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Hao Li received the MRSEC/Department Fellowship.

Maria Linnik and Wendy Sarney received the ARL fellowship for 1998.

Alumni News

Mahesh Krishna (Ph.D., 1997) is presently a research assistant professor at UC, Berkeley.

Robert Crowe (Ph.D., 1979) has been named Professor of Materials Engineering at Virginia Tech.

Chris Brown (MS, 1996) is actively involved in the materials degradation problems at NRC since 1996, and sends his regards to friends of the Department.

Erasmia Lois (Ph.D., 1988) is actively working in the area of risk analysis at NRC.

Michael Adams (MS, 1997) is with BioMaterials Inc. and sends his greetings to the department.

Dr. Vincent Carl Truscello a graduate of our Nuclear Engineering Program passed away on May 11, 1998.

Published by: Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering, for alumni, friends and faculty of the Department Chairman: Professor Aris Christou ( )

Editor: Annette Mateus
University of Maryland
Dept. of Materials and Nuclear Engineering
Bldg. 090, Room 2135
College Park, MD 20742-2115