Department of Materials Science and Engineering

DMSE has maintained its intellectual and educational leadership. Department faculty and students continue to be honored with prestigious awards and medals from various professional societies and international organizations. Renovations and modernization of many of our facilities continue; the renovated spaces include laboratories, faculty and student offices, and administrative space and all will be discussed later in this document. A single department faculty search committee was active during the year seeking to fill two positions, one in micro/nano-scale processing and properties of materials, and a broader search for an outstanding individual in any area of materials science and engineering. An active period of interviews in the spring semester concluded with DMSE extending two offers to potential assistant professors, both of which were accepted. As a result of this and previous searches, Professors Angela Belcher, Randolph E. Kirchain, Christopher A. Schuh, Francesco Stellacci, and Krystyn J. Van Vliet will be joining our faculty and a brief description of their backgrounds can be found in the following pages.

Our total enrollment stands at approximately 300 students. Our undergraduate program was evaluated by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in fall 2001 and was fully re-accredited. An initiative to rebuild our undergraduate program is underway. June 2002 saw the first graduates of our new master of engineering (MEng) program; one of the graduates will begin studies in our master of science program this fall while the others have pursued employment.

Faculty members from the department continue significant involvement with major Institute initiatives. Professor Edwin Thomas heads the new "Institute for Soldier NanoTechnology" (ISN). Professor Lionel Kimerling continues to lead the Materials Processing Center and the Microphotonics Center. Professor Michael Rubner serves as the Director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). Six department faculty members are affiliated with the Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA) and Professor Carl Thompson is the MIT cochair of the Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems Program. The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI), a global alliance with Cambridge University, is directed at MIT by Professor John B. Vander Sande. The Lemelson-MIT Program is directed by Professor Merton C. Flemings.


NanoLab's dedication 
Left to right: President Charles Vest, Harold Hindman '39, and Professor Subra Suresh, head of DMSE, at the NanoLab's dedication ceremony.

In March of this year, DMSE opened a new nanomechanical technology laboratory, equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for the study of the mechanical properties of surfaces and devices at the atomic and molecular scale. This lab is the most prominent and visible laboratory along MIT's Infinite Corridor and its glass walls and plasma screen displays of educational and research information inform passersby of its activities.

The laboratory will have unique capabilities for studying the properties of the tiny world and will be home to the Institute's first nanoindenters, machines that probe and measure the properties of surfaces of engineering and biological materials. Faculty from DMSE with research and teaching ties to the "NanoLab" are Professors Lorna Gibson, Klavs Jensen (joint appointment with Chemical Engineering), Nicola Marzari, Christine Ortiz, Subra Suresh, Edwin Thomas, Carl Thompson, Sidney Yip (joint appointment with Nuclear Engineering) and new faculty members Angela Belcher (joint appointment with Biological Engineering) and Christopher Schuh; from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science are Professors Jesus del Alamo and Martin Schmidt; from Mechanical Engineering, Professor Lallit Anand; from the Biological Engineering Division, Professor Ram Sasisekharan; from Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mark Spearing; and from Chemical Engineering, Professor Jackie Ying.

The NanoLab is also expected to play an important role in the activities of the ISN. In addition to research, the lab also will be key to a number of educational activities; lab components will be added to a variety of DMSE subjects and preliminary plans are under way to link the NanoLab to the WebLab, the online microelectronics lab developed by del Alamo.

The NanoLab was made possible by a combined donation of $500,000 from Harold Hindman (SB 1939 chemistry; SM mechanical engineering) and George Burr (SB 1941 physics), cofounders of Instron Corporation; a pledge of $500,000 in cash and equipment from Instron Corporation itself; and an equipment grant of $500,000 from the Office of Naval Research to purchase the nanoindenter. Additional funding came from the Institute and the Lord Foundation of Massachusetts Inc.

Several ongoing construction projects were completed in September 2001. A 700 sq. ft. state-of-the-art distance learning classroom, funded by and shared with CMI and SMA, seats up to twenty-five; it was completed and actively used through this past academic year. Space for SMA and CMI Headquarters, containing offices for directors and primary staff, was completed and occupied. This space is loaned by DMSE for a period of five years in exchange for the space renovation. A DMSE Graduate Student Lounge containing a kitchenette, seating areas, Athena terminals, and a facility for rehearsing presentations was completed and sees active use. A 950 sq. ft. student office in the basement of Building 8 was renovated to provide space for 24 incoming graduate students.

A biomaterials research laboratory was completed in March 2002 for Assistant Professor Darrell Irvine. The 900 sq. ft. facility in Building 8 includes space for tissue culture and characterization.

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Research Initiatives

As noted earlier, MIT learned this spring that the Army has selected its proposal for an ISN. The Army has funded this project for five years for $50 million to which industry will contribute an additional $40 million in funds and equipment. DMSE's Professor Edwin L. Thomas will direct the ISN which will create lightweight molecular materials to equip foot soldiers of the future with uniforms and gear that can heal them, shield them, and protect them against chemical and biological warfare. The ISN will have approximately 150 staff, including 35 MIT professors from nine departments in the schools of engineering, science, and architecture and planning. In addition to personnel from MIT, the ISN will also include specialists from the Army, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.; Raytheon Co.; and physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. The ISN will focus on six key soldier capabilities: threat detection, threat neutralization (such as bullet-proof clothing), concealment, enhanced human performance, real-time automated medical treatment, and reduced logistical footprint (i.e., lightening the considerable weight load of the fully equipped soldier).

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Undergraduate Education

Our undergraduate enrollment stands at about 101 students and currently includes 65 percent women, 15 percent underrepresented minorities, and five percent international students. We continue extensive recruiting efforts to maintain our undergraduate student body, including participation in academic expo during freshman orientation, an open house, the 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 DMSE undergraduates; 41 DMSE students were placed at more than 20 host institutions during the summer of 2002, including three overseas institutions.

Professor Lorna Gibson and Professor Linn Hobbs acted as faculty advisors for the department's undergraduate exchange program with Cambridge University as part of the CMI exchange. One DMSE student and two Cambridge University materials students participated in the exchange with the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge University. Next year, we anticipate that four DMSE students and three Cambridge students will be participating in the department's CMI exchange program. In addition, Professor Gibson collaborated with colleagues at Cambridge University who teach a short course on materials selection and design to enable MIT students to take the subject via distance learning over IAP.

DMSE faculty have begun a major initiative to redesign the current undergraduate curriculum, which has been in place for nearly two decades with only incremental changes. Professor Sadoway is leading this effort. Major goals of the new curriculum will be integration of lecture and laboratory learning modules; introduction of topics on a "need-to-know" basis; introduction of a mathematics subject that will run throughout the sophomore year and be taught by DMSE faculty to support core subjects in DMSE; increased collaborative teaching efforts for student and faculty enrichment; and increased opportunities for student/faculty interaction. Eight faculty working groups have been designated to develop curricular offerings in these areas: thermodynamics and structure; physical chemistry and structure; mechanical behavior; electronic, photonic, and magnetic properties; organic materials chemistry; inorganic materials chemistry; materials processing and product design; and conceiving, designing, implementing and operating materials systems. Concurrent related activities are developing laboratory modules and designing facilities to accommodate them; a new laboratory facility for undergraduate education is currently being designed, and it will be located along the infinite corridor in Building 8. DMSE plans to offer the new curriculum to the sophomore class in 2003.

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Graduate Education

The department has a very healthy graduate student enrollment, 188 in fall 2001. Approximately 29 percent of our graduate students are women and three percent are underrepresented minorities.

Two of our students were enrolled in the Technology and Policy Program (TPP) and three were enrolled in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program (LFM). Twenty-one of our students were enrolled in the program for Polymer Science and Technology (PPST). We anticipate for the fall of 2002 a total graduate student enrollment of about 220. We will register an incoming class of 74 for the coming fall, over 60 percent of whom are domestic.

Our continuing work to expand offers of one- and two-semester fellowships to a large percent of domestic applicants has been successful. 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, and the department endowed fellowship). Our endowed fellowships now provide sufficient annual income for one-semester fellowships for approximately 28 students. In addition to the above, we are grateful recipients of a number of grants from corporations and foundations, including the Whitaker Foundation, Draper Laboratories, Dupont, Lucent Technologies, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Hertz Foundation. In addition, many students have other outside fellowship support; of the 44 domestic students expected to enter in the fall of 2002, 39 will be entering on fellowships from the department, the Institute, the NSF, and the Department of Defense.

The incoming graduate students in September 2001 were the first students to enter our new doctoral programs. The new academic programs are: bio- and polymeric materials, chaired by Professor Mayes; electronic, photonic, and magnetic materials, chaired by Professor Ross; emerging and fundamental studies in materials, chaired by Professor Ceder; Structural and environmental materials, chaired by Professor Flemings. In addition, DMSE continues to offer the doctoral program in archaeological materials.

The department continued its program of invited lectures by distinguished researchers in the field of materials science and engineering. Professor Ilhan A. Aksay of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University spoke on "The Role of Biology in the Development of New Materials." The lecture was supported by the Singapore-MIT Alliance Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems Program and drew an audience from inside and outside our department.

Master of Engineering Degree in Materials

This program saw its first graduates this June and its second incoming class of eight students began their classwork in June 2002. Interest in the program is growing though its tuition cost continues to discourage applicants. Students in the program take two graduate classes in the summer, one of which will be partially taught in parallel with the SMA MEng program during the period in which students from Singapore are in residence at MIT. They also take a seminar subject that includes talks given by Professor Carl Thompson, "Engineering of Polycrystalline Films for Applications in Micro-and Nano-Systems"; Professor Rajeev Ram (EECS), "Components and Materials for Optical Communications"; Professor Edwin Thomas, "Morphological Control and Supramolecular Engineering of Polymeric Based Systems"; and Professor Darrell Irvine, "Biomaterials for Immune System Bioengineering."

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Other Educational Initiatives

With support from the NSF, four DMSE faculty (Professors Allen, Hobbs, Hosler, and Lechtman) launched a Summer Institute in Materials Science and Material Culture (SIMSMC) with an inaugural group of twelve students in residence for two weeks in June 2002. The participants were faculty members from liberal arts colleges around the country, representing fields from art history to physics. The summer institute aims to encourage and assist faculty at liberal arts colleges in introducing materials science and engineering to their undergraduate curricula, and uses archaeological science as a vehicle for accomplishing this goal. The summer institute philosophy is grounded in principles our faculty considers fundamental to the design of higher education in the 21st century: that science and engineering have their origins in multiple cultural traditions which account for their richness and permanence as human endeavors; and that access to the social wealth of society lies in education that allows people to generate and interpret a wide range of data from a broad methodological base. The June 2002 program included one-week modules on "Building Bricks and Monumental Glue," coordinated by Professor Hobbs, and "The Power of Metal in the Ancient Andean World," coordinated by Professor Lechtman.

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Student Organizations

Officers of the Society of Undergraduate Materials Students (SUMS) for 2002–2003 will be Lauren Frick, president; Yihvan Vuong, vice-president; Catherine Tweedie, secretary; and Allon Hochbaum, treasurer.

The Graduate Materials Council (GMC) officers for 2002–2003 will be Douglas Cannon, president; Marc Richard, vice president; Raul Martinez, treasurer; Bo Zhou, Daniel Sparacin, and Ryan Williams, social chairs; Joseph Bullard, athletic chair; Garry Maskaly and David Danielson, representatives to the Departmental Committee on Graduate Students (DCGS); Ashley Predith and Chris Musso, representatives to the Graduate Student Council (GSC).

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We are pleased to announce that Angela Belcher, Randolph E. Kirchain, Christopher A. Schuh, and Francesco Stellacci will be joining our faculty this fall. Most recently, Professor Belcher has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. She will be the John Chipman Career Development associate professor of materials science and engineering in our department and the Bio-Engineering Division. She holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Professor Kirchain will be assistant srofessor of materials science and engineering. Previously, he was assistant director of the Materials Systems Laboratory at MIT. Professor Kirchain holds a PhD from our department. Professor Schuh will be assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Professor Schuh was most recently at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories and he holds a PhD from Northwestern University. Professor Stellacci will be assistant professor of materials science and engineering. He holds a doctorate in materials science engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and comes to us from the University of Arizona where he was a post-doctoral researcher working on three-dimensional optical memories and creation of nanoscale electronic devices. Krystyn J. Van Vliet has recently accepted a position as assistant professor of materials science and engineering in our department. Professor Van Vliet conducted her doctoral studies in our department. She will pursue post-doctoral research investigating cellular mechanotransduction at a Harvard Medical School associated facility before joining our ranks in September 2003.

Professor Fred McGarry and Professor August Witt will both retire from the department as of July 1, 2002. Professor McGarry holds an AB in physics and math from Middlebury College and an AB and an SM in mechanical engineering from MIT. He joined our faculty in 1974. He provided great service to the Institute, including serving as secretary of the faculty and director of the summer session. Professor Witt joined the DMSE faculty in 1962 after completing a PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Innsbruck. Professor Witt's teaching of 3.091, Introduction to Solid-State Chemistry, is famous; he taught the subject for 20 years during which time he instructed approximately 10,000 students. Although retired, both Professor McGarry and Professor Witt plan to continue working with the department and with the Institute.

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Research Highlights

Research in Professor Allen's group is working to develop transient liquid-metal infiltration processes for fabricating metal parts by three-dimensional printing, and in structural and performance characterization of ferromagnetic shape-memory alloy actuators. Professor Carter and his students develop a wide range of computational approaches to understand fundamental aspects of microstructure development and their effects on materials properties; recent work on calculating the optical response of dielectric composites has yielded approaches for the design of photonic media. Professor Ceder's group has developed a theory to study slow fracture under conditions where impurities respond to the changing state of stress and strain. Professor Chiang and his students have discovered an electrochemically-driven solid-state amorphization process that is important in ultrahigh energy density lithium-metal anodes. Professor Cima's work focuses on the processing and fabrication of complex ceramic and electronic components via three-dimensional printing and microfabrication/micromolding, biomedical applications and controlled-release drug delivery, and thin-film superconductors. Professor Clark developed a methodology for extending engineering models to calculate a "life-cycle emissions inventory" that includes data about the volume of chemicals and other materials released and consumed during the lifetime of a product from manufacture through use and disposal.

In Professor Eagar's group, a new method of scaling order-of-magnitude solutions of complex combinations of differential equations has been developed and demonstrated for modeling of welding processes. Professor Fink's group has developed a new methodology for creating photonic band gap optical fibers which exhibit reflectivity values that rival the best known metal reflectors. Professor Fitzgerald's group has demonstrated the monolithic integration of room-temperature cw GaAs/AlGaAs lasers on Si substrates via relaxed graded GeSi buffer layers. Professor Flemings's group developed an innovative method for forming microstructures which can be used directly for semi-solid forming. Professor Gibson is working with other MIT faculty to find bone substitute materials and on tissue engineering for orthopedic applications. Professor Hobbs's work on orthopedic joint prosthesis materials has investigated the formation of new bone-opposing hydroxyapatite-coated cementless implants in hip prostheses. Professor Hosler is engaged with the first phase of a large-scale excavation project at the copper smelting site of El Manchon, Guerrero, the only pre-European copper smelting site yet discovered in the Americas. Professor Irvine, who joined our faculty this year, has initiated a research program focused on bioengineering of the immune system. One area that has already shown promising initial results is the development of synthetic surfaces that can elicit tailored activation and proliferation of T cells; such devices could be used to generate defined populations of lymphocytes for immunotherapy. Professor Kimerling's group has developed passivation schemes of silicon wafer surfaces for environmentally benign processing and developed a methoxy surface termination, based on an iodine catalyzed chemistry. Professor Latanision's group collaborated with colleagues at the Pennsylvania State University to produce reference and pH electrodes that function in high-temperature high-pressure water that will be used to examine dealloying and stress corrosion cracking in supercritical water systems. Professor Lechtman is engaged in a multi-year research program aimed at documenting and interpreting the development and spread of bronze metallurgical technologies in the Andean culture area during the Middle Horizon period (ca. 600–1000). Professor Lupis explored the application on Input-Output Models to the optimization of the flow sheets of large metallurgical plants and the impact of regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

Professor Marzari has completed the first studies of chemical reactions on a metal surface with full ab-initio molecular dynamics, for cannonball dissociation of Cl2 on Al (111) and for partial oxidation of methane on the missing-row reconstruction of Pt (110). Professor Mayes's and Professor Sadoway's groups have collaborated to synthesize new block copolymer electrolytes for the first time by atom transfer radical polymerization and have shown that these electrolytes exhibit mechanical and electrical properties indistinguishable from materials made by the more difficult anionic polymerization method. Professor McGarry's group is working to improve the fracture toughness of rigid silicone resins. Dr. O'Handley and his students have studied the effects of strain on magnetic thin-film properties, and also made significant advances in characterizing ferromagnetic shape-memory actuator performance at frequencies up to 1 kHz. Professor Ortiz's group used high-resolution force spectroscopy to measure the complex intermolecular interaction forces between individual end-grafted Poly(ethylene oxide) chains and a probe tip covalently bound with human serum albumin, the most abundant blood plasma protein in the human body. Dr. Paul is studying the interaction between two ferromagnetic grains with grain boundary structure in the presence of segregation.

Current research in Professor Powell's group includes modeling of the Electric Field-Enhanced Smelting and Refining of Steel Project, using fluid-flow and phase-field approaches. Professor Ross's group is studying magnetic random access memories, including understanding magnetization reversal and interactions between small (sub-100 nm) magnetic structures, and magnetoresistance measurements. Professor Roylance's research has centered on process-structure-property investigations of polymers and composite materials, dealing especially with mechanical properties.

Professor Rubner and his group have devised a number of simple strategies for manipulating electronically active polymers and small-molecule light emitters into thin-film devices such as using layer-by-layer processing to form functionally active polyelectrolyte multilayers. Professor Russell is studying embryo destruction and injection for understanding nuclear pressure vessel embrittlement and thin-film deposition under ion-beam mixing. Professor Sadoway's group has designed, constructed, and tested a flexible, thin-film microbattery that has exhibited record-breaking values of energy and power density. Professor Smith's research has used in situ scanning probe microscopy that simultaneously characterizes the evolution of the surface structure and electrochemical properties of Li-ion battery electrodes. Professor Suresh's group has developed a variety of new theoretical and experimental methods for the analysis and measurement of mechanical and coupled properties of nanostructures, small-volume structures, thin films, and active materials; these new findings were reported in several papers published in Science and Nature. During the past year, the research groups of Professors Suresh and Yip have also collaborated to develop a new interatomic finite element method for the prediction of defect nucleation at surfaces and for modeling the nanomechanics of deformation in materials

Professor Thomas's group has used directional solidification and epitaxy to obtain precise control of nanopatterns in block copolymer microdomains. Professor Thompson and his students have characterized the reliability of new Cu-based integrated circuit interconnects and shown that there are significant differences from Al-based interconnects, requiring new layout and reliability assessment methodologies. Professor Tuller's group has investigated the feasibility of operating resonant bulk acoustic wave devices at elevated temperatures, holding promise for providing means for in situ monitoring of physical and chemical deposition processes. Professor Vander Sande's group is studying the physical chemistry of the oxidation process by which fullerenic nanotubes have been produced from oxidation of SiC. Professor Witt's group conducted solidification experiments to optimize the design of a crystal growth research facility for the International Space Station. Professor Wuensch's group is studying the crystal chemistry and electrical properties of a pyrochlore with composition Bi3Zn2Sb3O14 which has dielectric properties that are attractive for use in capacitors. Professor Yip's group continues research on multiscale modeling with emphasis on mechanical and thermal behavior in metals, semiconductors, and ceramics.

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Awards and Honors

Last December, Professor Thomas W. Eagar presented the General Electric distinguished lecture at the invitation of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the title of his lecture was "Advanced Materials: Steel to Buckyballs—So Where Do We Go From Here? Or, Should You Believe What You Read in the News?" Professor Eagar was among the MIT employees welcomed into the Quarter Century Club. Professor Linn Hobbs received the 2002 Arthur C. Smith award for "sustained notable contributions to the undergraduate program at MIT." For fundamental contributions to multi-scale chemical reaction engineering with important applications in microelectronic materials processing and microreactor technology, Professor Klavs Jensen was welcomed into membership of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Professor Christine Ortiz received a Presidential Early Career award for Scientists and Engineers; the NSF was her sponsoring organization and the award will be presented at the White House in Washington DC this fall. Professor Subra Suresh was also awarded NAE membership; his citation recognized him for "development of mechanical behavior theory and experiment for advanced materials and applications, and for demonstrating fruitful new avenues for structural study." Professor Harry Tuller presented an invited lecture in the "Faculty of Science Public Lecture Series" at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand; his lecture was entitled "Promise of Materials Science in the 21st Century." Professor Tuller was elected to serve as a councilor of the International Society of Solid State Ionics for 2002–2003. Professor Claude Lupis was named an ASM fellow; the citation reads, "for seminal contributions to the application of thermodynamic principles to chemical metallurgy, and for the development of economic analysis for large-scale metallurgical systems."

Robert C. O'Handley, a DMSE senior researcher, gave an invited talk on Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Alloys at the March meeting of the American Physical Society in Indianapolis. Dr. O'Handley's textbook Modern Magnetic Materials, Principles and Applications (John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2000) will soon go into its fourth printing and is scheduled to be translated for sale in China.

John W. Cahn, a former DMSE faculty member currently on the staff of the National Institute of Science and Technology, received the 2002 Bower award and prize for achievement in science, a high honor given by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Cahn's contributions to the field of physical metallurgy are numerous and widely recognized.

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Faculty Notes

Faculty members of this department include these chairholders: Samuel Miller Allen, POSCO professor of physical metallurgy; Angela Belcher, John Chipman career development associate professor of biomedical engineering; Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera professor of ceramics; Michael John Cima, Sumitomo Electric Industries professor of engineering; Thomas W. Eagar, Thomas Lord professor of materials engineering and materials systems; Yoel Fink, Thomas B. King assistant professor of materials science; Eugene A. Fitzgerald, Thomas Lord professor of materials science and engineering; Merton Corson Flemings, Toyota professor emeritus of materials processing; Lorna J Gibson, Matoula S. Salapatas professor of materials science and engineering; Darrell J. Irvine, Karl Van Tassel assistant professor of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering; Klavs Flemming Jensen, Lammot du Pont professor of chemical engineering and professor of materials science and engineering; Lionel C. Kimerling, Thomas Lord professor of materials science and engineering; Claude H. P. Lupis, Danae and Vasilis Salapatas professorship in chemical metallurgy; Nicola Marzari, Amax career development assistant professor of computational materials science; Christine Ortiz, John Chipman assistant professor of materials science and engineering; Adam C. Powell, IV, Thomas B. King assistant professor of materials engineering; Caroline A. Ross, Lord Foundation associate professor of materials science and engineering; Michael Francis Rubner, TDK professor of materials science and engineering; Donald Robert Sadoway, John F. Elliott professor of materials chemistry; Subra Suresh, Richard P. Simmons professor of metallurgy and materials science and engineering; Edwin Lorimer Thomas, Morris Cohen professor of materials science and engineering; Carl Vemette Thompson, II, Matoula Salapatas professor of materials science and engineering; and John Bruce Vander Sande, Cecil and Ida Green distinguished professor.

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Student Awards

Undergraduate Awards

The department award for outstanding senior thesis was presented to Robin Ivester of Charleston, South Carolina, for her thesis entitled, "Fabrication and Magneto-Mechanical Characterization of Ni-Mn-Ga Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Composites for Energy Absorption and Damping." The best 3-B internship report award was presented to Steven Tobias of Plainview, New York, for his report on "Study of the Structure and Electrical Transport Properties of Near Stoichiometric Indium Monoselenide." The award for outstanding service to the DMSE community was presented to Lauren Frick of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in recognition of her activities as an active and innovative president of SUMS. A certificate of honor for a perfect 5.0 cumulative grade point average was presented to Trisha Montalbo of State College, Pennsylvania, who was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Afua Banful of Kia Accra, Ghana, was named outstanding junior in the DMSE Class of 2002 and Trisha Montalbo was named outstanding student in the DMSE Class of 2002. Tiffany Santos of Valdosta, Georgia received honorable mention from the association of MIT Alumnae's senior academic award and also received an Undergraduate Materials Research Initiative (UMRI) award from the Materials Research Society (MRS); these awards are designed to introduce undergraduates to the excitement of discovery through research in materials science and engineering by providing funds for research and subsequent awards.

Tau Beta Pi inductees this year were DMSE seniors Brad McCoy, Nina Pocek, and Steven Tobias; and juniors Afua Banful, Jessica Dai, Casey Dwyer, Jamie Mak, and Frances Wong.

Graduate Awards

Heidi Burch was named a Materials Day Poster Session winner for her presentation entitled "Toward Development of an Edible Photonic Crystal." Amy Grayson, a PPST/DMSE grad student advised by Professors Michael Cima and Robert Langer was co-winner of PPST's new Institute-wide OMNOVA Signature award for excellence in polymer research for her research on "A Resorbable Polymeric Microreservoir Device for Drug Delivery." Abel Hastings (MEng 2002) was awarded the FEF (Foundry Education Foundation) scholarship for an outstanding student with an interest in metals casting. Christopher P. Henry received honorable mention for his presentation at the International Society for Optical Engineering's (SPIE) annual conference in San Diego, California. Jinsang Kim, PhD in materials science and engineering in June 2001, received the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) award for the best PhD thesis in chemical science. Hartmut Rudmann received an MRS graduate student award at the MRS meeting in Boston in December 2001. Augustine Urbas was also named a Materials Day Poster Session winner for his presentation on "Block copolymer photonic crystal active materials." Nicole Zacharia is the 2001 winner of the John Wulff award for excellence in teaching.

Future Plans

Vigorous effort to design and implement the new undergraduate curriculum will continue in the coming year. Faculty have committed to a "dry run" of the new curriculum in the spring semester 2003 and a roll-out to department sophomores in September 2003.

Several major renovation and construction projects have been initiated with work to continue over several years. Through an agreement with the Physics Department and the Institute, DMSE will be creating a number of new undergraduate teaching laboratories in Building 8 on the infinite corridor. Architects are working with the department to finalize designs for the new laboratories, as well as space for a new DMSE Headquarters, a student services office, and faculty offices on the first floor of Building 6.

Subra Suresh
Department Head
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

More information about this department can be found on the web at


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