Drexel Alumnus Stephen Neizgoda Appointed Assistant Professor at Ohio State University
May 17, 2013
Alumnus Stephen Niezgoda has accepted a joint appointment as assistant professor in both the department of materials science and engineering and the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Ohio State University (OSU) beginning in August 2013. At OSU, Niezgoda’s research will focus on developing programs in crystal plasticity and other micromechanics modeling, stochastic approaches to multiscale modeling, computational material design tools and materials data sciences.
“The field of materials science and engineering is currently going through a big change with respect to the amount of high quality three dimensional material data that can be obtained. Historically materials has been a data limited field in that characterizing the internal structure of materials was expensive in terms of time and effort. With new characterization techniques we are transitioning to a data driven but analysis limited field. We are now able to collect huge three dimensional datasets, but we critically need new techniques to turn this raw data into useful materials knowledge,” said Niezgoda. “My work focuses on the development of computational tools for the automated analysis of large materials datasets and the quantitative description and comparison of material microstructures. It draws from many different technical areas including signal and image processing, probability and statistics, applied mathematics, as well as traditional materials and mechanical engineering.”
Niezgoda received his bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering in 2006 and his doctoral degree in 2010 from Drexel University under advisor Surya Kalidindi. “Before I studied at Drexel I was an aircraft mechanic. Returning to work on an undergrad 10 years after failing out as a freshman at another university with a family to support was a terrifying prospect. What made me successful as an undergrad at Drexel was the support from the people in materials science and engineering, the faculty were engaged with me directly,” Niezgoda emphasized. “They valued my background and experiences and showed me how to build on them. As I finished my undergrad, there were numerous opportunities to continue with graduate studies. As a whole the department came together to make sure I had the funding and support necessary to go on to my Ph.D. studies.”
Niezgoda is currently a post-doctoral researcher with the Materials in Dynamic and Radiation Extremes group at the Materials Science and Technology Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He collaborates with Don Brown at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), where he focuses on the computational and experimental challenges of 3D High Energy X-ray Diffraction Microscopy (HEDM) (evolution of nuclear fuel assemblies during simulated reactor conditions). Prior to joining Los Alamos, Niezgoda completed his dissertation work in the Mechanics of Microstructures Group on the statistical analysis of microstructure data and microscopy image processing techniques. Upon graduation, Niezgoda was selected as the graduating doctoral student deemed to have the "Most Promise to Enhance Drexel's Reputation" in the mathematical sciences and engineering category. He was the recipient of NSF GRFP, DoD NDSEG (declined) and NSF IGERT fellowships.