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2016-2017 Annual Report



Faculty & Staff

Faculty Directory | Staff Directory

Gogotsi Receives $2.2M Endowed Professorship

Gogotsi receiving Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professorship

Yury Gogotsi, PhD was installed as the inaugural Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Professor at a May 1 event in the A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery. The professorship was established with a permanent endowment of $2.2 million that will be used to fund Gogotsi’s current and future research initiatives.

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Schauer and Taheri selected 2017-18 ELATE Fellows

Caroline Schauer and Mitra Taheri

Drexel Materials Associate Professor Caroline Schauer and Hoeganaes Associate Professor Mitra Taheri have been selected to take part in the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE at Drexel®) leadership development program 2017-18 fellowship year.

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Excellence in Scholarship: 2017 Graduation

Celebrating Commencement 2017

2017 graduating undergraduate students

The department bid farewell to its graduating students at our annual commencement dinner at the University Club on Monday, June 12, 2017. Faculty, staff, and students receiving 2016-2017 departmental awards were also honored.

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Drexel Materials Students, Faculty, & Staff Recipients of Graduate Student Day Awards

Katie Van Aken and Evelyn Ren

Graduating PhD students Katie Van Aken (advisor: Yury Gogotsi) and Chang (Evelyn) Ren (advisor: Yury Gogotsi) are recipients of college-level graduate student excellence awards.

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Alumni Impact

BS Alumna Prineha Narang Appointed Assistant Professor at Harvard University

Prineha Narang

Alumna Prineha Narang (BS ‘11) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Computational Materials Science at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

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Alumnus Davide Mattia Promoted to Full Professor, Associate Dean for Research

Davide Mattia

Alumnus Davide Mattia (PhD 2008) has been promoted to Full Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, UK.

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PhD Alumnus Michael Naguib Appointed Assistant Professor at Tulane University

Michael Naguib

Alumnus Michael Naguib (PhD 2014, advisors: Michel Barsoum and Yury Gogotsi) will be joining Tulane University in January 2018 as assistant professor in the department of Physics and Engineering Physics.

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Drexel Materials Alumna Nina Lane Receives 2017 Young Alumni Emerging Leader Award

The Drexel Alumni Association Young Alumni Emerging Leader Award is presented to an individual who graduated within the last 10 years, regardless of age or degree, who is making an impact within his or her community or in his or her profession since graduation.

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Drexel Materials Young Alumni Recognized for Achievements


Three Drexel Materials PhD graduates and one former post-doctoral researcher have recently received acknowledgement of their accomplishments in the field.

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Materials in Action

Drexel Materials Researchers Building Connections in Korea

Drexel nanomaterials researchers in a South Korean lab.

To bridge the gap between materials science and product fabrication, a group of Drexel Materials students and post-doctoral researchers spent the summer in South Korea as the first cohort to participate in a collaboration between Drexel University, the National Nanofabrication Center (NNFC) and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). 

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The Skinny on the World’s Thinnest Materials

2D Materials Graphic

Interest in two-dimensional (2D) materials for energy technology, with the potential to positively impact efficiency and environmental sustainability, is rapidly growing. Drexel University and, in particular, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is a hub for research into possible advances in 2D materials for energy. As such, Drexel played host to the "Symposium on 2D Transition Metal Compounds for Energy Applications," bringing together 85 participants from 13 different institutions to explore the use of these materials in a variety of energy contexts.

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Drexel Materials Expands Research Facilities

Jessica Weaver in the lab

Drexel Materials has undergone research facilities expansion this academic year, especially in the areas of energy and polymers.

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Awards & Achievements


Barsoum Elected to Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences

Michel Barsoum

At its November 17th meeting, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences elected Drexel Materials Distinguished Professor Michel Barsoum as a Foreign Member.

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Spanier Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

Jonathon Spanier

Professor Jon Spanier has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society.

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Pomerantseva Receives IAAM 2016 Energy Technologies Award

Pomerantseva Energy Technologies Award

Assistant Professor Ekaterina Pomerantseva is the 2016 recipient of the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM) Energy Technologies Award (ETA), presented for notable and outstanding research in the field of smart energy technologies.

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Gogotsi Named 2016 Highly Cited Researcher

Yury Gogotsi

Distinguished University and Trustee Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi has been selected as a 2016 Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics.

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Barsoum Selected for Nanosciences Foundation Chair of Excellence

Michel Barsoum

Distinguished Professor Michel Barsoum has been selected for a Chair of Excellence in Grenoble, France by the Nanosciences Foundation.

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Li Receives Distinguished Alumni Award from UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering

Li receiving alumni award

Li received the Distinguished Alumni Award at the College’s Polymer Appreciation Day, a one day symposium held on May 12, 2017 celebrating the outstanding achievements of the college’s alumni and students.

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May Receives 2017 Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity

May with his Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity

Associate Professor Steven May is a recipient of the 2017 Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity, Early Career, which recognizes up to three faculty members (one in Art, one in Science and one in Industry) who have demonstrated unusual excellence in their scholarly field and who are considered emerging leaders in these fields.

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Materials Faculty Receive Inaugural Drexel Scholarly Materials and Equipment Research Awards

Christopher Li, Andrew Magenau, and Steven May

Three Drexel Materials faculty members are recipients of the Office of Research's inaugural Scholarly Materials and Equipment Research Award. These awards provide tenured and tenure-track faculty the opportunity to apply for funds for the acquisition and/or development of equipment, software, systems, or library collections that will enhance their research portfolio as well as increase their contributions to Drexel.

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Gogotsi receives IUPAC Distinguished Award in Novel Materials and their Synthesis

Gogosti receiving the NMS award

Gogotsi received the award "For outstanding contributions to the field of carbide derived carbons, carbon onions and nanodiamonds for capacitive energy storage and biomedical applications.”

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Drexel Materials Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Ariana Levitt and Carli Moorehead

PhD student Ariana Levitt (advisor: Caroline Schauer) and BS/MS student Carli Moorehead (BS Biomedical Engineering, MS Drexel Materials; advisor: Michele Marcolongo) are two of four current Drexel University students selected as 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows.

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BSMS Student Receives Fulbright Student Award

Carli Moorehead

BS/MS student Carli Moorehead (BS Biomedical Engineering, MS Drexel Materials; advisor: Michele Marcolongo) has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

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Drexel Materials Undergraduate Students Selected 2016-17 Aspire Scholars

Riki McDaniel and Marina D'Souza

Drexel Materials sophomores Riki McDaniel and Marina D’Souza have been selected to be Pennoni Honors College 2016-17 Aspire Scholars. The Aspire Scholars program is designed to provide promising, curious, and motivated Drexel undergraduates an opportunity to further develop and clarify their goals, within a small community of peers and faculty mentors.

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Materials Students on Winning 2017 Freshman Design Team

Materials students on winning freshman design team

At the College of Engineering’s annual Celebration of Engineering Design Day held June 8, 2017, a freshman design team comprised of three materials majors: Mark Petrovic, Kirsten Snodgrass, and Anna Desch, along with Jean-Luc Cassagnol and Mika Away, won Best of Freshman Design for their poster entitled “Exploring Thermal Expansion” describing their “Materials MacGyver” project.

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Major Research Initiatives

Entering the Fast Lane — MXene Electrodes Push Charging Rate Limits in Energy Storage

MXene Electrode

Can you imagine fully charging your cell phone in just a few seconds? Drexel Materials researchers can, and they took a big step toward making it a reality with their recent work unveiling a new MXene based battery electrode design in the journal Nature Energy.

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Beyond Scratching the Surface: Drexel Materials Researchers Find New Layered Solids Defect


New findings from Drexel Materials researchers suggest that, when compressed, layered materials will form a series of internal buckles, or ripples, as they deform, vastly expanding our understanding of how layered materials succumb to stresses and strains.

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Lighting the Path to Efficient Solar Energy

light in ferroelectric insulator

Recent work from the Mesoscale Materials Laboratory shows how light can transform a ferroelectric insulator into a high-mobility electronic conductor, remarkably, at room temperature.

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Material Witnesses — Researchers Around the World Are Delving Into Drexel’s 2D MXene

It’s been just over five years since Drexel Materials researchers reported on MXene, a new 2D material now the focus of research at dozens of institutions from countries spanning every continent but Antarctica. A feature story on the cover of Nature Reviews Materials suggests even more should take up the pursuit.

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Cheng Receives NIH Grant to Develop Biomaterials for Inducing Immune Tolerance

Hao Cheng

Assistant Professor Hao Cheng has been awarded an R21 grant by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study injectable biomaterial scaffolds for inducing antigen-specific tolerance to treat autoimmune disorders.

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Zavaliangos' Work Featured in JPharmSci's  "Most Original and Most Significant Findings"

Antonio Zavaliangos

Research by A. W. Grosvenor Professor Antonios Zavaliangos has been selected to be featured in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences virtual issue “Most Original and Most Significant Scientific Findings.”

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Containing Our "Electromagnetic Pollution"

MXene film

MXene, a nanomaterial discovered by Drexel Materials scientists, could be the key to shielding electronic devices from electromagnetic interference, like a television buzzing when a cell phone is near. 

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Making a Solar Energy Conversion Breakthrough With Help From a Ferroelectrics Pioneer

bulk photovoltaic effect

Designers of solar cells may soon be setting their sights higher, as a discovery by a team of researchers, which includes Drexel Materials Professor Jonathan Spanier, has revealed a class of materials that could be better at converting sunlight into energy than those currently being used in solar arrays.

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Li Receives NSF Grant for Crystal Structure Research for Potential Drug Delivery Applications

cross section of crystalsome

Materials Professor Christopher Li is the principal investigator on a new National Science Foundation grant, “Confined and Directed Polymer Crystallization at Curved Liquid/Liquid Interface.” Li's recent findings on crystallization were reported in Nature Communications last year.

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Laying the Groundwork for Longer Battery Life

Nature Energy Perspective Figure

Anne Stevens Assistant Professor Ekaterina Pomerantseva and Distinguished University and Charles T. and Ruth M. Bach Chair Professor Yury Gogotsi posit that next-generation batteries created by combining different two-dimensional (2D) materials in heterostructured electrodes can greatly improve battery life and charge storage capabilities, altering the technology landscape.

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Fixing the Future of Batteries, Right Now

Conceptual presentation of development of fully integrated rechargeable hybrid battery-supercapacitor (supercapbattery) electrical energy storage devices

In a recent edition of Nature Communications, Drexel Materials researchers offer a unified route for bringing our energy storage and distribution capabilities level with our energy production and consumption.

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Special Highlights

Remembering Dee Breger

Dee Breger

Drexel Materials remembers former Director of Microscopy Dee Breger.

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