Note from the Department Head

Michele Marcolongo
Michele Marcolongo

Without a doubt, the biggest thing to happen to Philadelphia in 2017-2018 was the February 4 Super Bowl LII win for the Philadelphia Eagles. With the “Philly Special” play leading to an amazing touchdown, the purported “underdogs” were well on their way to making history. Everyone in this city came together to root for the team and join in with rousing renditions of “Fly Eagles Fly.”

Here at Drexel Materials, we have been achieving our own victories and are proud to have a cohesive faculty, staff, student, and alumni base supporting one another. With each accolade, each award, and each discovery, we come together to celebrate and look ahead to the next win.

Our faculty are being recognized for their impact on the research and entrepreneurial landscape. Two of our faculty have achieved Fellow status in the International Society of Electrochemistry and National Academy of Inventors alike. One of our faculty members received not one, but two Honorary Doctorates. Our young faculty are making waves with one faculty member receiving an NSF-CAREER Award and one a Nano Research Young Investigators Award.

While years of experience make a difference in one’s knowledge of a field, our young alumni are proving that hard work pays off in the short-term, with one alumna named as both a Forbes 30 Under 30 and MIT Technology Review 35 Under 35. One of our more established alumni was also named as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. We take a deep dive, checking in with our alumni who were awarded Drexel’s “Outstanding Promise” Award, the top award given to graduating doctoral students, to find out how they are enhancing Drexel’s reputation in the real world.

The future alumni in Drexel Materials, our students, are bringing their research out to the larger research community. One student received a Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research Award and will work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory this summer and another student will conduct research in Australia, having been awarded a 2018 Australia-Americas PhD Research Internship.

From battery research to water desalination to materials design to 2D materials innovations, our faculty are opening the door ever wider to societal improvements for the long term. Faculty research this past year has appeared in a variety of high-impact factor journals including Macromolecules, Nature Communications, Science Advances, Angewandte Chemie, Nature Materials, and Nano Energy.

This past year, we were saddened to lose one of our beloved emeritus faculty members, Dr. Alan Lawley. Alan was an integral member of our department for over 50 years and helped to see us through many milestones. A renowned powder metallurgist, he is sorely missed.

Alan was an avid sports fan, especially of cricket, English Premier League, and squash. He was famous for a curse wherein any Phillies game he attended was doomed to be a loss, which was finally broken when he had the good fortune of being present for a no-hitter. Surely Alan would have gotten a kick out of the Eagles victory and would especially be proud of all Drexel Materials has accomplished and where the department is going.  

We hope you will join us on our journey. #AmbitionCantWait

Michele Marcolongo, PhD, PE, NAI, AIMBE, Alpha Sigma Mu