Four Drexel Materials Faculty Receive Promotions

Drexel Materials is pleased to announce the tenure and/or promotion of four faculty members, effective September 1.

  Steven May

Dr. Steven May will be promoted to full professor. He achieved the rank of associate professor in 2015. May joined the department as assistant professor in the 2010 academic year. He earned his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University in 2007. Prior to joining Drexel Materials, May was a postdoctoral research assistant at Argonne National Laboratory.

May’s research group focuses on epitaxial synthesis and characterization of complex oxide heterostructures and other materials with novel electronic, magnetic, or optical properties. May has received numerous prestigious awards in recognition of his teaching and research achievements including the Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity, Early Career (2017), ASM International Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers (2015), the American Ceramic Society Ross Coffin Purdy Award (2014), an ARO Young Investigator Award (2012), and an NSF CAREER Award (2012).

  Christopher Weyant

Dr. Christopher Weyant will be promoted to Teaching Professor. He joined Drexel Materials in 2011 as Associate Teaching Professor. Prior to coming to Drexel, Weyant worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stony Brook University, as well as holding positions at Sandia National Laboratories, Honeywell Aerospace, and Capstone Turbine Corporation. He received his PhD from Northwestern University.

Weyant has advocated for active learning in teaching including incorporating the flipped classroom model and problem-based learning into his classes. He also oversees outreach for the department, including running the Drexel Materials Summer Institute, coordinating demos and workshops for Philly Materials Science and Engineering Day, and overseeing the student organization DEMO (Drexel Experiences in Materials Outreach). He is the recipient of an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Graduate Student Association, a STEM Education Travel Award from Drexel CASTLE, and the Barbara G. Hornum Award for Teaching Excellence.

  Hao Cheng

Dr. Hao Cheng will receive tenure and be promoted to associate professor. Cheng joined Drexel Materials in 2012 following postdoctoral appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and the Department of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute at Northwestern University. He received his PhD from Northwestern University and his BE and MS degrees from Tsinghua University in China.

Cheng oversees the Nanobiomaterials and Cell Engineering Laboratory, conducting research at the interface of materials science and medicine, spanning fundamental studies to translational research. His lab uses engineering techniques to investigate nanomaterial-cell interactions and develops new biomaterials for immunotherapy. He is a recipient of the inaugural 2018 Nano Research Young Innovators Award in nanobiotechnology.

  Ekaterina Pomerants

Dr. Ekaterina Pomerantseva will also receive tenure and be promoted to associate professor. Pomerantseva joined the department in 2013 following a postdoctorate position in the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received a PhD degree in 2007 from Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia), where she also did her undergraduate studies in the Department of Materials Science.

Pomerantseva’s research interests lie primarily in the area of discovering and developing new solutions and next-generation systems for sustainable energy and clean environment. She investigates materials electrochemistry as it relates to energy storage, energy conversion and water treatment. She leads the Materials Electrochemistry Group, whose research is focused on design and application of the chemical synthesis methods to obtain materials with the desired structure and electrochemical properties, bridging the gap between chemistry and materials science. She is a 2018 recipient of an NSF CAREER Award and the Drexel Univeristy Provost Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Scholarly Achievement.