MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


This past year has been an excellent one for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. We were pleased to once again be ranked first in both undergraduate education and graduate education among the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering by U.S. News and World Report. We have maintained this ranking ever since this began eight years ago.

In spite of the more difficult research funding climate, the research volume of the department has been relatively constant during the past year, while the number of graduate students has decreased to 168. The undergraduate student population has dropped somewhat to 110. In June we awarded 30 bachelors degrees, 19 masters and 14 doctorates. Our program of offering fellowships to a large percentage of domestic applicants continues to provide us with an outstanding graduate student body; 59% of our entering graduate student class in September, 1996 were domestic.

The Graduate Program has evolved to a single General Examination for the department, rather than the six degree program examinations that we had previously. In addition, the faculty voted to increase the number of core graduate subjects from two to four. These include subjects on "Materials at Equilibrium," "Kinetics," "Mechanics," and "Electrical, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials." Each of these subjects was taught for the first time this past year.

During the past two years the department has assumed responsibility for the Archaeological Science Program at MIT. This program, which is home to two faculty, Professors Heather Lechtman and Dorothy Hosler, builds on the strong materials emphasis that was brought by Professor Cyril Stanley Smith '26 ML. This program has begun to flourish in the department with well over 150 students taking subjects in archaeology. We believe that this interface between archaeology and materials science is one of the strongest such programs in the world, and we hope that it will grow and prosper in its new home.

We are pleased to have added two new women faculty members to our ranks this year: Professor Caroline A. Ross and Professor Sandra L. Burkett.

Dr. Ross received the BA with first-class honors from Cambridge University (1985) in Materials Science and Metallurgy. She then continued at Cambridge for the PhD (1988), completing the work in three years on the topic of electro-migration of thin metal films. Following graduation she spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, working on interdiffusion in electrodeposition multilayers, and in January, 1991 she became a research scientist at Komag, Inc., the leading merchant supplier of memory disks for magnetic storage devices. She arrived at MIT in February, 1997 as the first holder of the newly established Thomas Lord Career Development Assistant Professorship of Materials Science. Professor Ross researches the magnetic and mechanical properties of thin films used in magnetic storage media and recording heads. Current media are made with sputtered films 10-20nm thick. Designing high-end media requires a detailed understanding of the relation between film microstructure and magnetic and mechanical properties. She is interested in thin film structure and growth, and in the properties of interfaces between films, including diffusion and interface structures, and has worked on the control of film magnetic properties such as magnetic anisotropy and time-dependent magnetic behavior, and on mechanical properties of films including stress effects and tribology.

Professor Burkett received the AB with honors from Princeton University (1990) in chemistry, and the PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (1994). She spent two years at the University of Bath in England as a research officer and academic tutor in the School of Chemistry, working on developing new families of organically functionalized, ordered mesoporous silica materials and magnesium silicate clays with applications in organometallic chemistry, catalysis, and host-guest chemistry. In early 1997 Dr. Burkett was a visiting researcher in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She arrived at MIT on July 1, 1997, and assumed the title of John Chipman Assistant Professor of Materials Chemistry. This career development chair, honoring the late Dr. John Chipman, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 1946-1962, was established in 1985. In addition to being one of the department's foremost leaders, Dr. Chipman laid the foundation for modern steelmaking technology through his pioneering work on metallurgical thermochemistry, a field he created. Professor Burkett's area of research expertise focuses on novel ceramic structures for catalysts and biomaterials. She investigates the interplay between organic and inorganic components in the synthesis of nanostructured inorganic and inorganic/organic hybrid materials. Building upon previous research on zeolite synthesis and biomineralization processes, she is interested in understanding the nature of inorganic/organic intermolecular interactions within a range of synthetic and natural materials, elucidating nanostructure/property relationships, and applying these principles to the design and synthesis of new materials and devices, including biomaterials.

Two senior faculty members in our department became the holders of endowed chairs during this past year. On July 1, 1997, Professor Michael J. Cima became the Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering. The Sumitomo Professorship was established in 1992 through a $2 million dollar gift by Sumitomo Electric Industries in order to make a vital and permanent contribution to the advancement of research and to the intellectual future of MIT. Professor Cima is the second DMSE professor to hold the Sumitomo Electric Industries Professorship in Engineering; Dr. Harry L. Tuller, Director of the Crystal Physics and Electroceramics Laboratory, was the first. Professor Cima's general area of research interests include: ceramics processing, studies of processes for the removal of binders from ceramic greenware, drying, novel powder forming methods, ceramic thin films, and ceramics manufacturing. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific publications, holds six patents, and is a recognized expert in the field of ceramics manufacturing. He is also known for his work on growth of epitaxial oxide films by chemical methods and by ion-beam assisted deposition.

We are grateful to have received two newly endowed professorships created in August, 1996 through a $4 million dollar gift from Dr. Vasilios S. Salapatas, an MIT alumnus and the managing director of Helliniki Halyvourgia, S.A., of Athens, Greece. The professorships are the Stavros V. Salapatas Professorship and the Matoula S. Salapatas Professorship, named in honor of Dr. Salapatas's deceased parents. These gifts are intended to strengthen the department and its teaching and research programs. On January 1, 1997, Professor Lorna Gibson became the first holder of the Matoula S. Salapatas Professorship in Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Gibson is a leader in the area of modeling and characterization of the mechanical behavior of cellular materials. During the past year her research has involved investigation of ultralight structures using metallic foams, and on progressive damage resulting from osteoporosis in trabecular bone. She has published more than 50 technical articles on the mechanical properties of materials with cellular structure, and is co-author with Professor Michael F. Ashby of the book, Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties. The book has been published by Cambridge University Press as part of their Cambridge Solid State Science Series. The holder of the Stavros V. Salapatas chair has not been announced.

In addition to the two Salapatas endowed professorships, the department has received a second junior faculty career development grant from the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts. This will create a second Thomas Lord Career Development Chair.

During the past year several members of the department have been instrumental in creating a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Alaska and MIT. This agreement was signed on June 16, 1997. The purpose of the agreement is to collaborate in research and education which will develop new technologies to create employment in remote complex regions of the country. The initial response to this Memorandum of Understanding has been very encouraging both in Alaska and in Congress. It is hoped that this initiative will grow and develop into a major research program, not only for this department, but for several other departments within the School of Engineering.

In addition, during the past year the department teamed with the Department of Chemical Engineering to create the first Administrative Cluster at MIT. We were disappointed to lose Brian E. Tavares as one of the leaders of this cluster during the middle of the year, but have been quite fortunate in retaining the services of Elizabeth D. Cooper, who joined the department on April 1 as the Administrative Director of the Administrative Services Organization for the two departments. We hope that this Administrative Services Organization will provide enhanced services for both departments. Elizabeth came to the ASO from her former position as Administrative Officer of the Physics Department where she was in charge of educational as well as administrative management. Elizabeth earned an Ed.D. from the University of Rochester and brings an in-depth knowledge of higher education issues to this challenging position. One of her more recent posts was as an Associate with Coopers and Lybrand where she provided consulting services to education and not-for-profit clients in the areas of financial management, revenue management, indirect cost, business process re-engineering, administrative management, planning and organization. This background will prove invaluable as she serves the changing needs of the cluster, the School and the Institute.

In addition to the other changes brought about by clustering, during the past year Professor Edwin L. Thomas stepped down as Associate Department Head, and Professor David K. Roylance became the departmental Executive Officer. The Executive Officer position is a new one for the department, and was created to develop some symmetry between the departmental organization of our department and the Chemical Engineering Department.

In May of 1997 we were pleased to dedicate an oil portrait of Professor Morris Cohen. This was a wonderful event attended by both family and friends of Professor Cohen. Morris was deeply touched by the event. In addition to this portrait, the department has commissioned portraits of John Chipman, John Elliott, and Richard P. Simmons, each of whom, along with Morris Cohen, has an endowed professorship named after them in the department.

Our faculty members continue to occupy a number of important leadership positions at MIT. Professor Vander Sande is Associate Dean of Engineering, Professor Kimerling serves as Director of the Materials Processing Center, Professor Rose continues as Director of the Concourse Program, Professor Roylance serves as Executive Officer, Professor Rubner serves as Director of PPST (Program in Polymer Science and Technology), Professor Allen serves as Secretary of the MIT Faculty, Professor Latanision continues as Chairman of the MIT Council on Primary and Secondary Education, and Professor Lechtman is Director of the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology.


Although there has been a small decline this past year, our undergraduate enrollment remains at historically high levels. Essential to maintaining our undergraduate body are extensive recruiting efforts including a three day Open House, our annual John Wulff Lecture, direct mailings to the freshman class, Freshman Advisor Seminars, and IAP Activities. Our III-B Internship Program continues to attract the majority of the undergraduate students in our department. Through this program we have strengthened our interactions with 38 companies and government laboratories in the U.S., Europe, and Asia while providing summer experiences relevant to the educational development of our undergraduates. Our undergraduate body currently comprises 51% women, 15% underrepresented minorities, and 3% international students.

Professor David C. Dunand had been instrumental in organizing the Materials Undergraduate Study Exchange Program (MUSE) in 1995, and in signing agreements to establish the undergraduate exchange program with KTH Stockholm, ETH Zurich and, the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris during academic year 1995-1996. Due to the fact that Professor Dunand took a leave of absence to Northwestern University, Professor Lorna Gibson took over as chair of the Undergraduate Study Abroad Program Committee, and she has continued the work begun by Professor Dunand. The department sent the first students abroad under this program last year.

The Student Undergraduate Materials Society (SUMS) continued to be a source of strength for the undergraduate program. SUMS assisted in end-of-term subject evaluations, assisted in the organization of the UROP Open House, sponsored seminars by departmental faculty members, planned socials, and assisted in tutoring of fellow students. Officers of the society during the spring and fall semesters of 1996 were: William P. Chernicoff (President), Mary E. Hamilton (Vice President), Neil T. Jenkins (Secretary), and Kim Marie Levis (Treasurer). New officers elected in the spring of 1997 are: Kim-Marie Levis (President), Ryan Cush (Vice President), Chelsea Russell (Secretary), and June Cheng (Treasurer).


Approximately 22% of our graduate students are women and 2.9% are underrepresented minorities. The distribution of students among our six graduate degree programs and their affiliates is little changed from last year. As of February, 1997 it was:

Percent of Total

Degree Program
Graduate Students
Electronic Materials
Materials Engineering
Materials Science

Five of our students in Materials Engineering were enrolled in the Technology and Policy Program, and four were enrolled in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program. Fifteen of our Polymer students were enrolled in the Program for Polymer Science and Technology. We anticipate for the fall of 1997 a total graduate class of about 175. The program we adopted five years ago of offering one-term fellowships to a large percent of domestic applicants has been successful. We estimate we will register an incoming class of 46 for the coming fall, over 59% percent of which will be domestic.

Nearly all undesignated gifts to the department are currently being used to fund endowed fellowships (including the Nicholas J. Grant Fellowship, the John F. Elliott Fellowship, the Ronald A. Kurtz Fellowship, the Gilbert Y. Chin Fellowship, the R. L. Coble Fellowship, the Carl M. Loeb Fellowship, the David V. Ragone Fellowship, the H. H. Uhlig Graduate Fellowship, the Stuart Z. Uram Fellowship, the Class of `39 Fellowship, the Julian Szekely Fellowship, and the Department Endowed Fellowship).

Our endowed fellowships now provide sufficient annual income for one-term fellowships for approximately 12 students. In addition to the above, we are the grateful recipients of a number of grants from corporations and foundations to aid our first year students. We have received a large grant from the Starr Foundation which has provided up to four fellowships each year for a three year period, as well as a fellowship from the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts. These have been instrumental in assisting us to maintain the size and quality of our incoming domestic student class. We have fellowship support from a number of corporations including TECHINT and SIDOR. Of course, many students have other outside fellowship support as indicated elsewhere in this report. Of the 27 domestic students expected to enter in the fall of 1997, 14 will be entering on fellowships from the department and from a variety of sources including; NSF, DOE, DOD, NDSEG, FCAR, and the Air Force.

In 1996 the GMC voted to revise its officer organization during academic year 1996-1997 by forming a Core Committee with Erika Abbas as Chair. Officers of the Graduate Materials Society (GMC) Core Committee during academic year 1996-1997 were: Vanessa Chan, T.A. Venkatesh, and Phil Soo. Other officers during academic year 1996-1997 were: Valarie Benezra (Treasurer), Srikanth Samavedam and T.A. Venkatesh (MESSeminar Co-Chairs), Nicole Lazo (DCGS Representative), Olivera Kesler (GSC Representative), Kevin Eberman (Social Chair), and Ram Ratnagiri (Athletic Chair). GMC sponsored seminars, monthly socials and an end-of-the-year barbecue. The group continued to undertake the supervision of the arduous but important task of course evaluations. Newly elected Officers of the Graduate Materials Society (GMC) for academic year 1997-1998 are: Philip Soo (President), Debra Lightly (Vice President), Vab Andleigh (MESSeminars), Matthew Rosenthal (Treasurer), Eric Wu and Todd Stefanik (Athletic Chairs), Steven Murray and Christopher Vineis (Social Chairs), Michael Groenert and Nicole Lazo (DCGS Representatives), and Matthew Farinelli and Olivera Kesler (GSC Representatives).

Officers of the MIT Student Chapter of the Materials Research Society during the academic year 1996-1997 were: T.A. Venkatesh (Chair), Valarie Benezra (Treasurer), and Kevin Chen, Christine Hau, and Michael Whitney (Special Projects Committee). New officers for the 1997-1998 academic year will be elected in the fall. Professor Linn W. Hobbs and Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus will continue as the MRS Student Chapter faculty advisors for 1997-1998. Chapter activities during the past year include: successfully creating a new and improved version of the MRS Chapter Newsletter and participating in the Symmetry Scapes '97 contest. In addition, the chapter performed a preliminary survey to check the feasibility for a Boston based New England Section of MRS, and received approval from the MRS Committee towards formal efforts to nucleate such a section. The chapter received funding from MRS to help co-sponsor the speaker series and information lunches of aMaSS; obtained travel money to help partially defray travel expenses for MIT students who attended the MRS Spring Conference; and arranged to find low cost accommodations for some incoming students who attended the MRS Fall Conference.

The Association of Materials Students Societies (aMaSS) is a coalition of student chapters of three materials professional societies: Materials Research Society (MRS), ASM International/The Materials, Metals & Minerals Society (ASM/TMS), and the American Ceramics Society (ACerS). The association was formed in 1992 with the purpose of increasing the profile of MIT in the professional societies of materials research. Membership is offered to undergraduate and graduate students from all departments of MIT who are interested in materials. Officers of aMaSS during academic year 1996-1997 were: Andrew Gouldstone and Lori A. Maiorino (Co- Chairpersons), Valarie Benezra (Treasurer), and K. K. Greig (Secretary). The Chairpersons of the three student chapters during the academic year 1996-1997 were: T.A. Venkatesh (MRS), Laura Giovane (ASM/TMS), and Sara Ransom and Amy Hsio, (Co-Chairs, ACerS). The 1997-1998 officers of aMaSS are Melody Kuroda (Co-Chair) and Andrew Gouldstone (Speaker Chair). Elections for the remaining open officer positions of aMaSS, and for the open chair positions of the three student chapters will be held in the fall. Professor Samuel M. Allen will act as faculty advisor for aMaSS during academic year 1997-1998.


Faculty members of this department now occupy 14 endowed chairs. The chairholders are: Sandra L. Burkett, John Chipman Assistant Professor; Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Ceramics; Thomas W. Eagar, POSCO Professor of Materials Engineering; Merton C. Flemings, Toyota Professor of Materials Processing; Lorna Gibson, Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Linn W. Hobbs, John F. Elliott Professor of Materials; Lionel C. Kimerling, Thomas Lord Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Anne M. Mayes, Class of '48 Associate Professor of Polymer Physics; Edwin L. Thomas, Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Michael F. Rubner, TDK Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Subra Suresh, Richard P. Simmons Professor of Metallurgy; Michael J. Cima, Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering; John B. Vander Sande, Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor; and August F. Witt, Ford Professor of Engineering.

Term chairs, especially those held by junior faculty members, are of immense value to the holders in building careers. Faculty from this department currently occupy one such chair; Caroline A. Ross, The Thomas Lord Career Development Professorship.

Visiting Associate Professor W. Craig Carter, research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD received the 1996-1997 Graduate Materials Committee Teaching Award. Professor Michael J. Cima was elected Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, 1997, and presented over 10 invited lectures. Professor Joel P. Clark was the keynote speaker at the VDI Conference on Life Cycle Engineering of Passenger Cars in Wolfsburg, Germany in November, 1996.

In 1996 Professor Thomas W. Eagar was the recipient for the second time since 1990 of the Warren F. Savage Award of the American Welding Society. Professor Eagar was again honored in February, 1997 when he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He was named for his contributions to the theory and practice of welding. Professor Eugene A. Fitzgerald was the Symposium Organizer for the 1996 Electronic Materials Conference, and was elected Treasurer of TMS EMPMD for a three year term, 1996-1999. Professor Merton C. Flemings chaired a NSF-sponsored Task Force charged with reviewing foundry technologies in Europe and Japan; was a Visiting Professor at the Ecole des Mines in Paris; served on the Massachusetts Governor's Council on Economic Growth and Technology; and received the Acta Metallurgica 1997 Holloman Award in Materials and Society. He has also been a leader of MIT's program with Singapore.

Professor Dorothy Hosler gave the Spring Distinguished lecture at Dumbarton Oaks Libraries and Collections (Harvard) in Washington, DC in February, 1997; was a visiting lecturer at the Colorado School of Mines during the spring of 1997; and presented The Magistral Lecture on Ancient American Metallurgy at the International Congress of Americanists in Quito, Ecuador in July, 1997. Professor Klavs Jensen was offered a visiting Hougen Professorship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Professor Kirk D. Kolenbrander was the first recipient of the MIT Arthur C. Smith Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate life and learning. This annual award was established in 1997 to observe Professor Smith's departure as Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, to commemorate his record of service in the area of undergraduate student life, and to encourage faculty participation in undergraduate student life.

Professor Ronald M. Latanision was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April, 1997, and appointed by the Massachusetts Board of Education to serve on its statewide Math and Science Education Advisory Council. Professor Robert A. Laudise was elected to the American Philosophical Society. The APS, founded more than 250 years ago by Benjamin Franklin and friends, is the country's oldest learned society. Professor Anne M. Mayes was co-organizer of the 1996 ACS Workshop on Polymer Surfaces and Interfaces. Professor Andreas Mortensen received the Pechiney Prize, the top prize in metallurgy, which is awarded annually by the French Academy of Sciences. Dr. Robert C. O'Handley was the invited lecturer at the October, 1996 AVS Meeting.

Professor Donald R. Sadoway was named MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellow, and received the MIT School of Engineering Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Chris E. Scott received a 1996 DuPont Young Professor Grant.Professor Subra Suresh was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In addition, he was invited by the Austrian Academy of Sciences to visit several Austrian academic and research institutions during 1997 to deliver lectures on his research and interact with scientists whose research involves structural materials and thin films. During his sabbatical leave last year, Professor Edwin L. Thomas performed research on AFM of epitaxial films at the Institute Charles Sadron in Strasbourg, and co-authored a textbook with Professor Samuel M. Allen, as part of the Wiley-MIT Textbook Series, titled, Structure of Materials. Professor Carl V. Thompson was awarded a Humboldt Foundation Research Award which he will use during his sabbatical leave next year at the Max-Planck Institut fur Metallforschung in Stuttgart.

Professor Harry L. Tuller was awarded a Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. This award is in recognition of Professor Tuller's past achievements in research and offered him the opportunity for an extended research stay in Germany. In addition, Professor Tuller was an invited lecturer at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. He was invited by both the Department of Physics and Materials Engineering to present a series of seminars throughout January, 1997 covering topics on recent developments in electroceramics, as well as advances in silicon micromachining by photo-assisted electrochemical methods. Professor Tuller previously served as a postdoctoral Technion research associate prior to joining MIT in 1975.


During the past year Professor Samuel M. Allen has completed a study that explores several strategies for toughening the TiCr2 Laves phase intermetallic at room temperature, where Laves phases are generally brittle. In another area of his work, he has applied the Three-Dimensional Printing process to the manufacture of hardenable metal tools for injection molding of plastic parts, directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models. His approach involves three-dimensional printing of binder into tool steel powder and subsequent infiltration with molten bronze. During this year the alloy development effort for the ITER fusion experiment culminated in the fabrication of the first "full" size conductor for the TF coil in the ITER design program. The jacket material, Incoloy 908, was developed in Professor Ronald Ballinger's laboratory. Incoloy 908 is a high strength, high toughness super alloy that combines outstanding mechanical properties with physical properties, especially the thermal expansion coefficient, that match those of the superconductor, Nb3Sn. The resulting combination allows for a savings in weight of approximately 25% for the same field strength of for a 25% increase in field strength for the same size coil.

Professor Gerbrand Ceder's research on Lithium-Metal-Oxide cathodes for rechargeable batteries has clarified the relation between chemistry, structure and intercalation voltage. This insight has led to the suggestion of a novel chemistry for this application. It appears this is one of the first materials designed by means of first-principles calculations. He is collaborating with Professor Yet-Ming Chiang to synthesize these materials. In order to facilitate first-principles predictions on complex oxides he has developed a transferable tight binding model for oxide systems. The model is almost as fast as empirical potential models, but can treat covalent and ionic systems in a coherent framework. During the past year, Professor Yet-Ming Chiang continued his research in electrically and chemically active ceramics under the support of the NSF/MRSEC program and the U.S. Department of Energy. He showed that interfaces in nanocrystalline CeO2 have reduced oxygen defect formation energy, which explains the increased catalytic activity of the nanocrystalline form. In TiO2 and ZnO, he showed for the first time that nanometer-thick intergranular films are an equilibrium feature of the microstructure. In processing research under Office of Naval Research sponsorship, he has demonstrated that near-electronic grade silicon carbide can be synthesized by the bulk process of reactive infiltration, yielding materials with thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties attractive for electronic packaging and structural applications.

Professor Michael Cima's most significant research accomplishments concerned application of 3DP to pharmaceutical delivery systems such as oral dosage forms. In addition, he demonstrated that a metal-organic deposition process may be an important route to high temperature superconducting coated conductors. Finally, he completed studies of the corrosion of aluminum nitride in caustic media. The later results represent the first basic studies of AlN corrosion in gold plating baths. Professor Joel P. Clark developed a research program with the University of Stuttgart, and ETH Zurich, in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of automotive materials and products, working with most of the automotive assemblers in the U.S. and Europe. This LCA framework is being used to analyze the costs and highlights of: new light weight designs (e.g. aluminum, steel, and polymer composite designs); electric vehicles vs. low emissions IC vehicles; and recycling technologies and policies. During the past year Professor Thomas W. Eagar's research group has shown that the fume produced when welding stainless steel has a measurable toxic effect above that produced when welding mild steel. The mild steel fume is no more toxic than other materials which are generally considered to be harmless. Thermodynamic models have shown that the chromium evaporates from the weld pool in its metallic form, and subsequently oxidizes in either the air or in water, and the form of the oxidation can be critical in the biological response. This work is particularly significant due to new proposed OSHA standards.

Professor Eugene A. Fitzgerald's work has established the microstructural origin of the current problems in the boron-diffusion process to form etch-stop layers. In other research, Professor Fitzgerald has shown that growth of graded, relaxed Si structures on off-cut wafers improves the morphology and defect structure as compared to growth on wafers without the off-cut. During the past year Professor Merton C. Flemings has qualitatively demonstrated remarkable differences between faceting and non-faceting alloys with respect to their solidification behavior in composite preforms. In another study, he finished and published work in which he demonstrated a new mechanism for phase selection in rapidly solidified alloys. One usually considers that preferential phase selection is determined by either nucleation, or growth velocity. A third possibility, however, is elimination of one phase in the early growth stages by its massive transformation to the other phase. In other research, Professor Flemings demonstrated subtle effects of structure and mold filling behavior of semi-solid alloys.

Professor Lorna J. Gibson's work sought to characterize the microstructure and mechanical properties of metallic foams for application in ultralight metal structures (e.g. sandwich panels and thin walled tubes with foam cores). In other work, Professor Gibson created a two-dimensional finite element analysis to model the relative effects on the strength of trabecular bone of thinning vs. resorption of the trabeculae. The results of this work indicated that a 10% loss of bone mass due to thinning reduces strength by roughly 20% while an equivalent loss due to resorption reduces strength by about 70%. Professor Hobbs has been active in studying the degradation of aircraft structures, as well as improving the oxidation resistance of carbon-carbon composites infiltrated with nobel metals. In a new initiative on biomaterials jointly with Dr. Myron Spector, Head of Orthopaedic Research at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, he has studied the nucleation and morphology of bioappetite during bone bonding at the interface between titatanium implants and bone. In addition, he is working on a major program with the US Army on advanced ceramics in smart composite structures.

Professor Dorothy Hosler's work distinguishing ancient Mexican copper sources using lead isotope analyses was published in Science: Dorothy Hosler and Andrew Macfarlane, "Copper Sources, Metals Production, and Metals Trade;" vol. 273:1819-1824 (September, 1996). Research on pottery production in ancient Ecuador appeared in the Journal of Material Culture 1:1: 1996: "Technical Choices, Social Categories and Meaning among the Andean Potters of Las Animas." During his sabbatical leave Professor Jensen devoted time to developing a set of notes for subject, 10.65 "Chemical Reactor Engineering," and expanding the course to include developments in modern chemical kinetics, specifically, quantum chemistry and transition state theory. His goal is to develop a textbook for this subject.

In recent research Professor Lionel C. Kimerling studied solar cells and wafer engineering transition metal gettering from the bulk by an Al eutectic liquid, and by heavy boron doping. In other areas of research he has studied environmentally benign semiconductor manufacturing and demonstrated an in-line monitor for chemical recycling, and developed a prototype with Millipore Corporation. Professor Kirk D. Kolenbrander's research demonstrated the effect of particle size and quantum confinement on the luminescence properties of nanoscale silicon thin films. He further showed that the intensity of visible photoluminescence from those films is dependent upon the degree of surface passivation on the nanoparticles, while the emission energy is independent of the specific chemical nature of the passivating species. These results are all consistent with a simple quantum confinement model of emission where particle size determines emission energy and surface passivation determines emission intensity.

Professor Ronald M. Latanision's research involved the development of supercritical water as a vehicle for chemical waste destruction. The selection of the materials of construction for large scale systems is the central focus of his work. In particular, he has identified thermodynamic conditions in potential-pH-temperature space which allow materials such as nickel-based and titanium-based alloys to be protected while not compromising the waste destruction efficiency. Professor Heather N. Lechtman's research revolved about the three-month summer archaeological/geological field investigation she carried out in Bolivia and Chile. The purpose was to assemble a representative suite of arsenical copper ore and nickel ores from N. Bolivia and Chile and lead isotope analysis. The field sampling survey was prompted by her discovery in 1995 of production of ternary Cu-As-Ni alloy by ancient metalworkers in Bolivia and Chile during Middle Horizon (ca A.D. 600-100). The ore sources utilized for this alloy and the smelting procedures involved in its preparation are part of a much broader study of ancient bronze (Cu-As, Cu-As-Ni, Cu-Sn) in the Andean world. Professor Anne M. Mayes initiated a program to develop a new solid state rechargeable lithium battery working in collaboration with Professors Ceder, Chiang, and Sadoway. The material is easily processed into thin films, allowing greater freedom in battery configuration.

Professor Frederick J. McGarry's work showed that chemical crosslinking of UHMWPE reduces wear in simulated hip joint to zero, and has applied for a patent on this work. In other work, he has produced stronger, tougher fiberglass/silicone resin laminates when resin is toughened with PDMS rubber. Two patent applications have been filed on this work to date. Dr. O'Handley's pioneering work of imaging and explaining the domain structure in ultrathin Cu/Ni/Cu/Si (001) films received wide acclaim. His work has spawned newly funded programs in novel actuator materials (Finland), and stress effects in magnetic thin film devices. Professor Uday B. Pal patented an environmentally sound and efficient process for refining molten metals by utilizing solid-state electrochemical cells. Pilot trials on refining copper are being conducted at Reading Tube Corporation in Pennsylvania. He also patented an improved steelmaking process which utilizes electronic pathways to enhance electrochemical smelting reactions. Research on industrial implementation is in progress with government and industrial support from Fluro-Daniels. In addition, he developed the theory to design efficient multi-layer electrochemical devices. These are being synthesized for applications in fuel cells, metal extraction, and solid-state sensors.

Professor David M. Paul co-authored a paper with H. Neal Bertram of the University of California, San Diego titled, "Magnetization Distribution in Thin Films with Perpendicular Surface Anisotropy" which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Physics,1997. It represents the first time the dynamics of the magnetization process in very thin films has been satisfactorily explained. In the past year Professor Robert M. Rose analyzed the radiation physics of sterilization as it is used for orthopaedic implants made of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene. Markedly nonuniform distributions of free radicals are predicted, which implies corresponding nonuniformities in sterilization and aging. Professor David K. Roylance's research has centered on the durability of filled elastomers subjected to large cyclic loads, the role of chain extension versus crosslinking in high-temperature polymer matrix resins, the role of processing variables on the morphology and properties of toughened polyamide resins, the modeling of flow and heat transfer during infiltration processing of composites, and the response of ultraoriented fibers to high-speed impact. Professor Kenneth C. Russell further developed his theory for unusual nucleation processes which occur in such non-equilibrium materials as thin films undergoing ion mixing and light water reactor pressure vessels undergoing irradiation.

Professor Donald R. Sadoway studied the generation of the perfluorocarbons (PFCs), CF4 and C2F6 in a laboratory-scale aluminum reduction cell. He found a strong correlation between PFC concentration in the off gas and the overvoltage on the anode. On the basis of the theory of electrode kinetics he derived the functional relationship between the rate of PFC generation and anodic overvoltage. Professor Chris E. Scott has implemented numerical simulation of breakup and coalescence of droplets using the 2D immiscible lattice-fluid model. The data indicated a transition from stable drops which do not break to drops which do break near a critical capillary number of approximately one. In addition, his understanding of the phase inversion mechanism during compounding of immiscible polymer blends has advanced rapidly. Contrary to the current conceptual model for the phase inversion mechanism, he has clearly proved that the relative transition temperatures are not the only factors that control which polymer initially becomes the continuous phase during dissipative mix-melting. Professor Subra Suresh filed for two U.S. patents. The first is for a new device and methodology for microindentation testing and measurement of mechanical properties on a microscopic scale, and negotiations are underway for the commercialization of this work through Instron Corporation. The second is on a procedure and apparatus for measuring processing-induced internal stresses in layered and graded coatings.

Professor Edwin L. Thomas published an article in Science concerning the first reports of a novel smectic O type phase in a rod-coil block copolymer. He investigated the physics of self assembly of liquid crystalline rod block-noncrystalline flexible coil block copolymers for a series of block copolymers and compared the results with recent theoretical work. Over the past year Professor Carl V. Thompson has developed and used a microstructure-sensitive simulation of electromigration and electromigration-induced failure in interconnects in integrated circuits. He has extended his experiments and modeling of structure and texture evolution in polycrystalline films to include concomitant stress evolution. Professor Harry Tuller has continued his work on developing compatible electrode/solid electrolyte systems for high temperature fuel cells, and investigating electrical activity at grain boundaries in semiconducting oxides. The new Journal of Electroceramics with Professor Tuller as Editor-in-Chief was launched with the first issue published in April, 1997. He has begun collaborative work with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany.

Professor John B. Vander Sande continued his work on thermomagnetic processing of superconducting. Part of this research involved processing Bi2Sr2CaCu2O[chi] as thick films on Ag substrates at elevated temperatures and fields. World class superconducting properties were achieved for this system through this process. In other work, he has investigated two aspects of soot formation from combustion processes. In one study, he has attempted to develop "soot prints" in order to assign soot to a particular source. In a different study, he has produced an impressively diverse morphology of fullerenic macromolecules by burning flames. Professor August F. Witt's research work continued on a concept for steady state crystal growth and segregation in a Bridgman configuration. Professor Bernhardt J. Wuensch performed neutron and x-ray scattering to establish the state of disorder in several fast-ion conducting pyrochlore systems and has used the structural results to interpret the variation of ionic conductivity with composition of the solid solutions. The dermal regeneration template discovered by Professor Ioannis Yannas (referred to commonly as 'artificial skin') was approved by the FDA in 1996. This analog of the extracellular matrix is a molecular scaffold which induces regeneration of dermis over indefinitely large areas in the patient's body and, in doing so, inhibits scar formation.


A. N. Sreeram, who finished his ScD at MIT a year and a half ago with Professor Linn W. Hobbs, was presented with the "DSRC Outstanding Technical Achievement Award" at the annual award presentation ceremony held in September, 1996. This is the second highest Sarnoff recognition award (the highest being the Sarnoff 'lifetime' achievement award, which is given to one person every year).

The initiates during the 1996-1997 academic year into the MA Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society were: Melody M. Kuroda, Wendy L. Mao, Amy C. Richards, Justin L. Sanchez, and Patrick E. Trapa.

The initiate during the 1996-1997 academic year into the Xi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was Neil T. Jenkins of Nashport, Ohio, in recognition of his scholarly attainment in the liberal arts and sciences.

In May, 1997 six seniors were accepted as associate members in the Society of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society of North America: Martin Gilkes, Neil T. Jenkins, Anand Raghunathan, Amy Richards, Matthew Van Eman, and Lorraine Wang.

Senior Douglas W. Howie won the award for best DMSE undergraduate thesis in June, 1997 for his thesis, "The Effect of Processing on the Performance of Ruthenium Chelate: Polyethylene Glycol Blend Based Electroluminescent Devices," which was written under the supervision of Professor Michael F. Rubner. Lisa Kinder was elected Recording Secretary at the American Ceramic Society/National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (ACeRs/NICE) Student Congress, which was held in Cocoa Beach, Florida from January 10-14, 1997. Other DMSE students attending the congress were junior Kim-Marie Levis and graduate student Andy Kim of Professor Eugene A. Fitzgerald's group.

Melody Kuroda, a DMSE junior from Waipahu, Hawaii, received several prestigious awards during academic year 1996-1997. They were: the 1996 Myrtle and Earl Walker Scholarship awarded by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; the 1996 George A. Roberts Scholarship awarded by the ASM Foundation for Education and Research; the 1996 Claiborne and Nuala Pell Scholarship awarded by the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO); and the 1997 TMS/Structural Materials Division awarded by The Metals, Minerals, and Materials Society (TMS). In addition, she was selected as a recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship awarded by the Barry M. Goldwater Foundation. The competition for these scholarships was intense, with the Goldwater Foundation receiving more than 1,164 nominations from which only 282 award recipients were chosen.

Senior Matthew R. Vaneman was among 80 college undergraduates chosen for the 1996 Summer Medical and Research Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. The 10-week program, for which more than 700 applied, is designed for students interested in careers in scientific research and offers first-hand work experience in laboratories conducting biomedical projects. One of the sponsors is the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Four seniors who graduated in June, 1997 received National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowships: Jiang-Ti Kong, Sara Ransom, Amy Richards, and Lorraine Wang. Ben Hellweg and Neil Jenkins were also selected for NSF Fellowships, but chose to accept Department of Defense (DOD) Fellowships. All of these students will be pursuing their graduate studies at MIT during the 1997-1998 academic year, except Lorraine Wang, who will attend Stanford in the fall.

In May, 1997 ten graduate students were accepted as associate members of the Society of Sigma Xi: Vanessa Chan, Matthew Currie, Jason Heine, Anil Jain, Alice Man, Patricio Mendez, Ramabhadra Ratnagiri, Pradeep Skreekanthan, Srikar Vengallatore, and Vicky Yong. Eight graduate students were accepted as full members of the Society of Sigma Xi: Jeffrey Bour, Valarie Benezra, Douglas Blom, Brian Galley, Rizwan Gal, Honglin Guo, Sridhar Seetharaman, and Eric Werwa.

Valarie Benezra received the 1997 Henry Broomfield Rogers Fellowship, Geetha Berera was awarded the 1997 Mary Ingram Bunting Sciences Fellowship. This fellowship is awarded to women graduate students by the Dean of the Graduate School. Kevin W. Eberman was the recipient of a grant from the U.S. National Committee for Crystallography to permit travel to present a paper at XVII Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography, Seattle, WA. Anne-Valerie Ruzett was awarded a Belgian American Foundation Fellowship for the 1997-1998 school year.

Srikanth Samavedam received an award for Best Student Presentation for the work he presented at the 1996 TMS/IEEE Electronic Materials Conference in Santa Barbara, CA titled, "Improvement in Surface Morphology and Dislocation Structure in Graded SiGe/Si Structures Grown on Off-cut Substrates." He received free support for attending this year's conference, a $500 award, and a plaque. Matt Silva was awarded a New Investigator Award by the Orthopaedic Research Society for his abstract titled, "Computed tomography based finite element analysis predicts failure loads and fracture patterns for vertebral sections," presented at the 1996 Annual Meeting. The John Wulff Award for Excellence in Teaching during academic year 1996-1997 was awarded to three teaching assistants: Jason A. Gratt, Sridhar Seetharaman and Eric Werwa.

Fellowship awards for one or more semesters were held during academic year 1996-1997 by 48 students: Stephen C. Britten, NDSEG Fellowship; Tracey A. Burr, NDSEG Fellowship; Kevin M. Chen, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship; Matthew J. Farinelli, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship; Michael E. Groenert, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship; Jason R. Heine, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship; Olivera E. Kesler, NDSEG Fellowship; Andrew Y. Kim, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship; Samuel A. Newell, NDSEG/SCEEE Fellowship and MIT Environment Fellowship; James E. Neely III, DOE Fellowship; Aimee L. Smith, DOE Fellowship; Anton F. Van der Ven, DOE Fellowship; Laura M. Giovane, DOD Fellowship; Erika D. Abbas, ONR/SCEEE Fellowship; Kevin W. Eberman, ONR/SCEEE Fellowship; Jason A. Gratt, ONR/SCEEE Fellowship; Adam C. Powell IV, AT&T CRFP Fellowship; Eric Werwa, AT&T CRFP Fellowship; Alice M. Man, EPA Fellowship, Aimee L. Smith, Ida M. Green Fellowship; Jeffrey D. Nystrom, Kurtz Fellowship; Paul R. Birch, NSF Fellowship; Christine S. Hau, NSF Fellowship; Brian D. Judd, NSF Fellowship; Thomas A. Langdo, NSF Fellowship; Debra J. Lightly, NSF Fellowship; Michael J. Fasolka, NSF Fellowship; Darrell J. Irvine, NSF Fellowship; Erin B. Lavik, NSF Fellowship; Randy Logan, NSF Fellowship; Sanjeev Makan, NSF Fellowship; Martin L. Panchula, NSF Fellowship; Vanessa Z.-H. Chan, NSF Fellowship; Benita J. Dair, NSF Fellowship; Michael F. Durstock, NSF Fellowship; Randolph E. Kirchain, Jr., NSF Fellowship; Andrew Gouldstone, Butzow Fellowship; Mauro Kobrinsky, Rocca Fellowship; Francis Johnson, STARR Fellowship; Kevin K.D. Lee, STARR Fellowship; Christopher J. Vineis, STARR Fellowship; Matthew T. Currie, Loeb Foundation Fellowship; Min-ha Hwang, Loeb Foundation Fellowship; Douglas J. Twisselmann, Loeb Foundation Fellowship; Chinedum Osuji, PPST Fellowship; Elicia M. Maine, International Motor Vehicle Program and Canadian Research Council Fellowship; Anna M. Lokka, International Motor Vehicle Program Fellowship and TEKES Fellowship (Finland); Thomas Besson, MPMI Fellowship.


From the foregoing it is clear that the Department of Materials Science and Engineering remains quite active--in education, in research, and in professional recognition--both within MIT and externally. It is the activity of the faculty and students which helps us maintain our preeminent ranking among other materials departments in the United States. Nonetheless, there are a number of challenges which confront us if we are to maintain these standards of excellence. Specifically, we have a number of new faculty positions open which we must fill during the next several years. This alone will place a severe financial strain on the department. In addition, it is essential that we begin to renovate all of Building 8 which has generally not been improved since the 1930's. This is particularly critical if we are to move forcefully into the area of biomaterials research. Fortunately, our alumni and friends have been very generous over the last few years, and with their continued support we believe that we will be able to accomplish many of these objectives.

More information about this department can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Thomas W. Eagar

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97