Department of Materials Science and Engineering

This has been a very successful year for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE). Our faculty and students received prestigious awards and other internal and external recognition, our total enrollment is over 300 students, and the fall of 2002 saw the arrival of the largest number of new graduate students in recent decades. We also retained our ranking as the top department for graduate study in our field in U.S.News and World Report. During the past year and a half, a major effort has been underway to establish a new undergraduate curriculum in materials science and engineering, which will be discussed later in this report.

DMSE faculty continue to lead major activities and programs within the Institute and occupy prominent leadership positions in the activities of many professional societies and technical organizations. Professor Edwin Thomas heads the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. Professor Lionel Kimerling leads the Materials Processing Center and the Microphotonics Center. Professor Michael Rubner serves as the director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, which successfully renewed its funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center for another six years. Six department faculty members are affiliated with the Singapore=MIT Alliance (SMA). The faculty director of the Lemelson-MIT Program is Professor Merton C. Flemings.

Our campaign to fund new faculty chairs was successful; a senior professorship and a junior faculty career development professorship, both named in honor of Professor Merton C. Flemings, were established in November 2002. These professorships were made possible by significant contributions from Toyota Corporation and SMA, as well as private donations from a large number of friends and alumni of the department.

We were saddened by the death of our dear friend and colleague, Professor August F. Witt, who lost his battle with cancer last October. Through his subject 3.091 Freshman Chemistry, Gus inspired and educated nearly half of MIT's undergraduates over three decades. Gus retired in July 2002 and saw his last student defend her thesis last September. A fund to provide emergency financial assistance to undergraduates has been established in Gus's name.

The field of materials science has been receiving much public attention. Members of our field have been consulted in connection with the fall of the World Trade Center, the breakup of the Columbia space shuttle, technological advances in communications devices and power supplies, and even on the most valued invention (the toothbrush, according to a Lemelson-MIT survey). Many of Technology Review's 100 young scientists to watch come from the field of materials science, including DMSE's Professor Angela Belcher. We are proud to play this role in technology today and to continue to educate tomorrow's leaders.

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Research Initiatives

Professor Joel Clark will be the codirector of a newly announced, $2-million, five-year collaborative research laboratory established at MIT by General Motors in the area of advanced materials processing and manufacturing systems for global automotive operations. The collaboration will focus primarily on the use of modeling to optimize the selection of materials and manufacturing processes.

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Undergraduate Education

Our undergraduate enrollment stands at about 104 students and currently includes 59 percent women, 11 percent underrepresented minorities, and 7 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 3-B Internship Program continues to attract the majority of DMSE undergraduates; 32 DMSE students are working at 25 host institutions for the summer of 2003, including 5 overseas institutions.

In fall 2003, DMSE will introduce a curriculum with a new set of integrated core subjects that will provide a fresh, exciting experience for our undergraduates. These subjects will cover both theory (fundamentals) and practice (how these fundamentals are related to the real world) and will include examples and applications in all lectures. For instance, students will learn why viruses and proteins have such complex structures, why silicon is such a good material for making electronic devices, and why rubber is stretchy. Students will also have a much broader lab experience, with lab subjects closely tied to the lecture subjects. By September 2003, construction will be completed on a new undergraduate teaching laboratory on the Infinite Corridor. This approximately 2,000-square-foot space will contain a range of equipment, including facilities for biomaterials investigation, chemical synthesis, and processing of materials, equipment for the characterization of electronic materials, an optical bench, and a scanning electron microscope. Interest in the new curriculum is high, with over 50 students having designated Course 3.

Professors Lorna Gibson and Linn Hobbs act as faculty advisors for the department's undergraduate exchange program, with Cambridge University as part of the Cambridge-MIT Institute exchange. Four DMSE students and three Cambridge students participated in the exchange program this year. Both DMSE and the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge University will continue to work together to integrate students into each institution's degree programs.

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Graduate Education

The department had a very healthy graduate student enrollment of 223 in fall 2002. Approximately 30 percent of our graduate students are women and 3 percent are underrepresented minorities.

One DMSE student was enrolled in the Technology and Policy Program and eight were enrolled in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program. Twenty-one of our students were enrolled in the Program for Polymer Science and Technology. We anticipate for the fall of 2003 a total graduate student enrollment of about 219. We will register an incoming class of 45, over 70 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 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 Howard F. Taylor Fellowship, the Wenckus Fellowship, and the department endowed fellowship). These fellowships now provide sufficient annual income for approximately 18 one-semester fellowships. In addition to the above, we are grateful recipients of a number of fellowship grants from corporations and foundations, including the Whitaker Foundation, Draper Laboratories, Dupont, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, and the Hertz Foundation. In addition, many students have other outside fellowship support; of the 31 domestic students expected to enter in the fall of 2003, 18 will be entering on fellowships from the department, the Institute, Draper Laboratories, Raytheon Corporation, and the Department of Defense.

In order to represent a rapidly growing area in our field, the academic program formerly called Emerging and Fundamental Studies in Materials will now be called Emerging, Fundamental, and Computational Materials Science. This program utilizes computer modeling and experimental characterization methods such as TEM and diffraction, while integrating important developments from fields such as mathematics, biology, physics, and economics into materials science and engineering. The program also allows students to propose relevant interdisciplinary course programs.

Master of Engineering Degree in Materials

To better reflect advances in the field of materials science and engineering, the department has made significant changes to the Master of Engineering (MEng) degree program. Students will now work with colleagues and faculty supervisors to design a focused program of study that suits their interests and goals. Sample programs are:

Starting in 2003, the program will begin in September and conclude in August. This schedule change will better accommodate needs of students and industry and allows the program to make use of existing subject offerings.

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Other Educational Initiatives

With NSF support, in June 2002 four DMSE Faculty members (Professors Allen, Hobbs, Hosler, and Lechtman) launched a Summer Institute in the Materials Science of Material Culture. The second Summer Institute convened a group of 13 faculty who were in residence for two weeks in June 2003. The participants were faculty members from liberal arts colleges around the country, representing fields from art history to geophysics. 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 that 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 2003 program included one-week modules on "Glass in Human Experience," coordinated by Professor Hobbs and Professor David Grose of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and "The Power of Metal in the Ancient Andean World," coordinated by Professor Lechtman and Professor Allen.

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Student Organizations

Officers of the Society of Undergraduate Materials Students (SUMS) for 2003–2004 will be Devon Charlton, president; Jenny Lichter, vice president; Kevin McComber, secretary; and Naomi Kohen, treasurer.

The Graduate Materials Council (GMC) officers for 2003–2004 will be Megan Frary, president; Bo Zhou, vice president; Carl Dohrman, treasurer; Scott Litzelman, Chris Fischer, Grace Kim, social chairs; Joe Walish, athletic chair; Dave Danielson and Jifeng Liu, representatives to the Departmental Committee on Graduate Students; and Andrew Albers and Ryan Williams, representatives to the Graduate Student Council.

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We are pleased to announce that Krystyn J. Van Vliet will be joining our faculty this fall as assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Van Vliet conducted her doctoral studies in our department and has been pursuing postdoctoral research investigating cellular mechanotransduction at Boston Children's Hospital since completing her PhD in 2002.

W. Craig Carter will be promoted to full professor effective July 1, 2003. Professor Carter's research encompasses interface and surface science and computational materials science, with a focus on mesoscale modeling and materials properties.

Professor Robert M. Rose will retire from the department as of July 1, 2003. He holds an SB in physical metallurgy and an ScD in metallurgy and materials science, both from MIT. He joined our faculty in 1961. His service to the department and the Institute includes serving as Concourse director. Among his awards and honors are the Bradley Stoughton Award from the American Society for Metals and the Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Professor Rose will continue a teaching involvement with 3.091 and as Concourse director.

Professor Richard Smith will leave the department as of July 1 to join Pratt and Whitney. Professor Smith's research programs use scanning probe microscopy to study oxide interfaces including lithium batteries, and he will maintain an MIT affiliation for the near future.

Patrick Kearney retired in September 2002. Mr. Kearney joined the department in 1960 as a research technician for Professors W. David Kingery and Robert Coble in the ceramics group. He then worked as a technical instructor in 3.081 for approximately 15 years. He continued to work part-time this past year with students in 3.081 and in the Chiang lab.

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Research Highlights

Research in Professor Allen's group has demonstrated the ability to locally vary the composition of Fe-Ni alloy parts fabricated by three-dimensional printing; they are continuing to study structural and performance characteristics of ferromagnetic shape-memory alloy actuators. Professor Belcher joined DMSE this year and is developing new approaches to synthesis, patterning, and interconnecting metal, electronic, and magnetic materials on nanolength scales. Professor Carter and his students have developed new methods for calculating the response of polycrystalline piezoelectric materials and are integrating electrochemical evolution in models for rechargeable battery microstructures. Professor Ceder's group has developed a truly new approach to predicting crystal structures of materials by combining first-principles quantum mechanics with data-mining algorithms. 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 concerns the chemistry and physics for processing of colloids, films, and micro-electro-mechanical systems structures with applications as diverse as drug delivery, coated conductors, and optics. Professor Clark developed a methodology for extending engineering models to calculate a "life-cycle emissions inventory" that is based on a robust understanding of the engineering processes involved.

In Professor Eagar's group, a continuous-strand metal/metal matrix composite processing technique that uses hollow-core tubes bonded to a metal matrix is underway to produce lightweight materials with novel properties. Professor Fink's group is developing a methodology that enables the formation of sophisticated optical components on a fiber. Professor Fitzgerald's group has studied the (Al)InGaP system and exploited high-quality lattice mismatched growth to produce a novel strained-InGaP quantum-well device for producing bright green lighting devices. Professor Flemings' recently developed process for semisolid metal forming is under commercial development. Professor Gibson is working with other MIT faculty members to make a uniform collagen-GAG tissue scaffold material aimed to produce a mineralized scaffold for bone tissue engineering. Professor Hobbs' work on orthopedic joint prosthesis materials has investigated the formation of new bone-opposing, hydroxyapatite-coated, cementless implants in hip prostheses. Professor Hosler supervised a team that completed the first excavation of a prehispanic copper-smelting site at El Manchon in Guerrero, Mexico. Professor Irvine's group is developing a strategy to apply current understanding of dendritic cell differentiation and function to achieve vaccines that provide potent protective immunity against persistent viral infections and cancer. Professor Kimerling's group has demonstrated the first optical filter that is continuously tunable through the entire communications spectrum. Professor Kirchain, who joined DMSE this year, has initiated research programs that explore the role of material choice on effective material recovery for end-of-life products and for modeling the economics of integration in optoelectronic manufacturing. Professor Latanision's group continues to provide international leadership in understanding the limits of the chemical stability of materials for supercritical water systems. Professor Lechtman is engaged in research to identify the ore source for nickel contained in Cu-As-Ni bronze alloys developed by prehistoric Andean peoples. Professor Lupis studied the interactions of surface-active species and their effects on the kinetics of a variety of metallurgical processes.

Professor Marzari's research programs apply first-principles computational methods to study a diverse suite of materials, including fuel-cell electrolytes, liquid metal surfaces, and the incorporation of nanotubes in Si-based electronics. Professor Mayes' group has produced baroplastic block copolymer and core-shell nanoparticle compositions that can be melt-processed from a powdered state into transparent objects by compression molding. Professor McGarry's group is working to improve the fracture toughness of rigid silicone resins. Dr. O'Handley and his students have advanced their studies of strain effects on thin magnetic films, and they continue to develop ferromagnetic shape-memory alloys for actuator and energy absorption applications. Professor Ortiz' group is working on multiscale design and evaluation of biological composites as a guide for new energy-absorbing body armor materials technologies. Dr. Paul is modeling the kinetics of twin-boundary motion in ferromagnetic shape-memory materials.

Current research in Professor Powell's group includes simulation of fluid-structure interactions with a phase-field method to understand complex processes such as dendritic solidification and polymer coagulation. Professor Ross' group discovered a new magnetic remnant state in small-diameter magnetic rings. Professor Roylance's research has centered on process-structure-mechanical property investigations of polymers and composite materials.

Professor Rubner and his group have developed several new molecularly assembled thin film coatings with properties that are tunable at the molecular level, including bio-inert coatings that completely resist the attachment of fibroblast cells and specific proteins. Professor Russell is studying the thermodynamic effects of the magnetic transition on the solubility of carbon in ferrite. Professor Sadoway's group has discovered a way to generate oxygen by electrolytic decomposition of lunar and Martian soils. Professor Schuh and his students have used molecular simulation tools to study the refinement of microlaminate structures composed of elemental metals by deformation and have shown that dual-phase nanocomposites can be developed by selecting elements with optimal combinations of mixing enthalpy and atomic radii mismatch. An in-depth study of the structure of the Bi2Mo3O12 (010) surface and its evolution during gas-phase redox reactions was completed in Professor Smith's group. Professor Stellacci joined the department this year and studies the interaction of organic molecules and biomolecules with inorganic surfaces; he aims to develop nanosize electronic and photonic devices for sensing biomolecules such as single DNA strands. Professor Suresh's group is engaged in a variety of theoretical and experimental studies of the nanomechanics of engineering and biological materials and of the mechanical response of nanostructured materials.

Professor Thomas' group demonstrated the first temperature-dependent photonic band gap in a side-chain liquid-crystalline block copolymer. Professor Thompson and his students have used in situ and real-time measurements of surface stress to study the dynamic atomistic processes that occur during metal-film formation and growth. Professor Tuller's group is studying the role of processing-induced microstructural features on transport properties of ceria and zirconia films deposited on silicon wafers. Professor Vander Sande's group has discovered and documented the existence of stable fullerenes consisting of fewer than 60 carbon atoms in closed shells—that is, buckyballs smaller than C60. Professor Wuensch's group has used neutron scattering to study the structure and site occupancies of a pyrochlore with composition (SczYb1–z)2Ti2O7 vs. temperature and composition. Electronic structure calculations have been used by Professor Yip and his group to understand the relations between the distribution of charge densities and bonding characteristics to the shear strength of aluminum and copper.

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Awards and Honors

Professor Angela Belcher was a winner of the World Technology Award in the category of materials; these awards honor contributions "to the advance of emerging technologies of all sorts for the benefit of business and society." She was also included in Popular Science magazine's list of "scientists who are shaking up their fields and whose work will touch your life."

The GMC presented Professor Craig Carter with the first Excellence in Graduate Advising Award and Professor Gerbrand Ceder with the first Excellence in Teaching Award.

In recognition of his work developing a revolutionary, low-cost battery technology, Professor Yet-Ming Chiang was awarded the 2002 YankeeTek Innovator of the Year Award.

Recognized for his "advances in welding and joining of metals, ceramics and electronic materials, alternate manufacturing processes, and for leadership in curriculum review and teaching," Professor Thomas Eagar was one of 291 members who became fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Linn Hobbs was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Ceramic Society.

Professor Darrell Irvine is a 2003 recipient of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Awards that support research in the chemical and life sciences.

Professor Ronald Latanision was named to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board by President Bush.

At a ceremony at the White House, Professor Christine Ortiz was presented with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; the NSF was her sponsoring organization.

Professor Chris Schuh has been selected by The Materials Society (TMS) to receive the 2004 Robert Lansing Hardy Gold Medal, an award that is given annually to someone under the age of 30 for "exceptional promise of a successful career in the broad field of metallurgy." He will receive the award at the 2004 TMS Annual Meeting in Charlotte, NC.

Professor Subra Suresh delivered the General Electric Distinguished Lecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He will serve as a member of the Materials Section Peer Committee of the National Academy of Engineering during 2003–2006.

Professor Bernhardt Wuensch received an honorary doctorate in engineering from Hanyang University on June 24, 2003.

Robin Elices, director of the Administrative Services Organization, and Hilary Sheldon of DMSE are winners of the School of Engineering Infinite Mile Award for Sustained Excellence this year. They received their awards at the 3rd Annual School of Engineering Awards Ceremony on April 30, 2003.

Undergraduate Awards

The Department Awards for Outstanding Senior Thesis were presented to Rachel Sharp of San Antonio, TX, for her thesis entitled, "Analysis of Copper Slags from the Archaeological Site of El Manchon, Guerrero, Mexico" and to Filip Ilievski of Skopje, Macedonia, for his thesis entitled, "Reactive Pulsed Laser Deposition of Magneto-Optic Iron Oxides."

The Best 3-B Internship Report Awards were presented to Afua Banful of Kia Accra, Ghana, for her report on "Magnetic Properties of Spin Valves with Iridium Manganese Pinning Layers" and to Bushra Makiya of Cambridge, MA, for her report on "Construction and Control of Multi-Cell Arrays by Laser Transfer."

The Award for Outstanding Service to the DMSE Community was presented to Lauren Frick of North Huntingdon, PA, in recognition for her active and innovative role in the department and as president of SUMS.

Joanna Natsios of Dracut, MA, and David Schoen of Louisville, KY, were named Outstanding Sophomores in the Class of 2005.

Yuki Hori of Mexico City, Mexico, Ana Ramos of Concord, MA, and Catherine Tweedie of San Francisco, CA, were named Outstanding Juniors in the DMSE Class of 2004.

Afua Banful and Lauren Frick were named Outstanding Students in the DMSE Class of 2003.

Nduka O. Enemchukwu was awarded the 2003 American Chemical Society Scholarship.

Afua Banful and Bushra Makiya were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Catherine A. Jenkins of Somerville, MA, is one of the recipients of the Foundry Education Foundation (FEF) scholarships in recognition of a superior student with an interest in the casting technologies.

Graduate Awards

For his work on "Design of Morphology and Chemistry of Polymer Filtration Membranes," Ariya Akthakul received the Graduate Student Silver Award in December 2002 from the Materials Research Society (MRS), was an American Physical Society Padden Award finalist in March 2003, and was winner of the OMNOVA Signature Award for Excellence in Polymer Research in April 2003.

Andrew M. Albers and Marc L. Richard are corecipients of DMSE's 2003 John Wulff Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Jorge Feuchtwanger, Raul Martinez, and Marc Richard were the graduate student FEF scholarship recipients.

For their product, "CF8C-Plus: New Cast Stainless Steel for High-Temperature Performance," Megan Frary and her collaborators at Caterpillar and Oak Ridge National Laboratory won an R&D 100 Award for developing one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.

Minjoo Larry Lee was a Gold Award winner for graduate student research at the 2003 MRS Spring Meeting held in San Francisco, CA. Gianni Taraschi was also an MRS graduate student Gold Award winner; his presentation and paper on "SiGe-on-Insulator: Fabrication Obstacles and Solutions" was recognized at the December 2002 meeting in Boston.

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Faculty Notes

Faculty members of this department include the following chairholders:

Future Plans

The department is excited about the imminent completion of the undergraduate teaching laboratory and launching our new undergraduate curriculum in September of this year. Ongoing projects include our planned renovation in conjunction with the space exchange with the Department of Physics, which entails relocation of DMSE headquarters, construction of a new departmental conference room (the Chipman Room), and continued expansion of the undergraduate lab.

Professor Ronald Latanision has announced his plans to retire effective August 1, 2003, to continue his involvement with the White House Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, and to take on a senior position with Exponent, an engineering practice firm. DMSE will miss his teaching and leadership. Professor Ronald Ballinger will take over as director of the H. H. Uhlig Laboratory.

Subra Suresh
Department Head
Ford Professor of Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

More information about the Department of Materials Science and Engineering can be found on the web at


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