News at MRSEC

Long-Qing Chen elected as 2023 member of the Academia Europaea

Long-Qing Chen, Hamer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, has been elected as a foreign member of the Academia Europaea for his “pioneering contributions to the development and applications of phase-field method to understanding and predicting materials microstructure and property evolution.” See the full article for more details.

MRSEC Sustainability Efforts Recognized by Penn State Today

It is exciting to see one of our Center's many sustainability-focused initiatives receive some great press and recognition! All participating labs (including several from MRSEC) are also mentioned on the program's website.  Thank you and congratulations to everyone who has supported and participated in this effort!  

Labs are still needed in EMS, ECoS, and Engineering for the next program's cohort (Fall/Spring 2022-24).  If interested, just fill out the online form to express your interest.

Penn State Today article

Jon-Paul Maria receives 2023 Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement

Dr. Jon-Paul Maria, IRG-2 co-lead, has received the 2023 Faculty Scholar Medal. The award recognizes scholarly or creative excellence represented by a single contribution or series of contributions around a coherent theme. For more details: Five Penn State faculty members receive 2023 Faculty Scholar Medals | Penn State University (

Congratulations to Rui Zu for winning the Alumni Association Dissertation Award!

Rui Zu, a MRSEC-funded doctoral candidate in Dr. Venkat Gopalan's lab recently received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award, one of the most prestigious awards given to doctoral candidates at the University. More details here:

Unique ferroelectric microstructure revealed for the first time

MRSEC faculty Nasim Alem and graduate student Leixin Miao (department of Material Science and Engineering) were recently highlighted by Penn State News for their investigation of a novel ferroelectric material. This work could lead to the development of lead-free piezoelectric materials for electronics, sensors, and energy storage that are safer for human use. The findings are reported in Nature Communications

Susan Sinnott recognized with 2022 AVS Medard W. Welch Award

Susan Sinnott, head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Penn State and faculty member of IRG 2 (High Entropy Oxides), has been selected for the top research award from the American Vacuum Society (AVS). She will give the honorary lectureship "Atomistic Simulations to Advance Surface Science" at the AVS 68th International Symposium and Exhibition this November. Please find the full story from Penn State News.

DynaCool PPMS 14T is launched

Penn State's DynaCool 14T is launched and it is ready for people to schedule measurements. To learn more training and using the DynaCool PPMS 14T please see their website. The DC resistivity module and ETO module (AC measurement on resistance  DV/DI vs Idc and I-V) are available. If you want to use the rotator or He-3 module, please contact Cequn Li or Yifan Zhao first. The DynaCool PPMS 14T is part of the MRSEC Central Facilities Lab. 

Fulbright Award to a Research Experience for Teachers resulted from National Science Foundation Funding

Former Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) fellowship recipient, Paul Orbe received a 2021 Fulbright Teachers for Global Classroom award. NSF funding supported his research in the Dabo group at the Penn State MRSEC. By utilizing High-throughput methods, Paul contributed to the discovery of materials catalyzing water splitting reactions. 

Co-Authored Research Experience for Teachers Resulted in a Publication

Paul Orbe an RET (Research Experience for Teachers) program participant research with Ismmaila Dabo lead to a published a paper resulting from research on hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles have helped curtail the global consumption of petroleum-based fuels for personal transportation. Photocatalysis offers a potential solution for the solar generation of hydrogen by electrochemically cleaving water. Data-driven materials screening could expedite the discovery and development of efficient photocatalysts. Read the publication in Energy and Environmental Science

The RET bring 3D Printed Material Measurements to 5th Graders

The Research Experience for Teachers collaboration resulted in a published paper focused on creating 3D printed equipment to help make the measurement of liquid contact angles on solid surfaces more accessible for K12 classrooms. The developed system was created utilizing the Penn State Makers Commons' 3D printers, while various sample surfaces surfaces were additionally explored using the Material Characterization Laboratory's Scanning Electron Microscope and a MRSEC-funded laboratory goniometer. The MRSEC also helped provide sufficient 3D printed materials, testing surfaces, and safety equipment to bring the activity to a 5th grade classroom at a local middle school, where the students used the 3D printed equipment to easily measure the contact angle of water on various naturally occurring and artificially-produced hydrophobic surfaces. The work resulted in a published paper in the American Chemical Society.