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Materials Research Institute announces seed grant recipients

Engineering researcher receives CAREER Award to develop straintronic tech

Shining a light on a forgotten figure in science history

Army grant could advance high-grade steel 3D printing

Wearable sensor monitors health, administers drugs using saliva and tears

Research News

Feb 3 2021

By Mariah Chuprinski

Two-dimensional materials can be used to create smaller, high-performance transistors traditionally made of silicon, according to Saptarshi Das, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics (ESM) in Penn State’s College of Engineering. 

Feb 2 2021

By Mariah Chuprinski

A new kind of wearable health device would deliver real-time medical data to those with eye or mouth diseases, according to Huanyu  “Larry” Cheng, Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in the Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM). 

Jan 27 2021

By A'ndrea Elyse Messer

Range anxiety, the fear of running out of power before being able to recharge an electric vehicle, may be a thing of the past, according to a team of Penn State engineers who are looking at lithium iron phosphate batteries that have a range of 250 miles with the ability to charge in 10 minutes.

Pioneers of Materials

360 Virtual Tour of Our Labs

From anywhere, from any device, visit some of our labs virtually. Walk through the Nanofab Lab, the MCL X-ray Diffraction Lab, and the NanoSEM Lab.

Millennium Café

How Do We Build a Healthy Society?

Students of history know that social destabilization and violence can emerge with too much polarization among the people. In this introduction to the dialogue method developed over two decades at World in Conversation, Laurie Mulvey (Director) will briefly discuss the "how" of building a healthy society, in particular the crucial role of dialogue facilitators. In her view, facilitated dialogue is not a space for correcting other people’s beliefs and narratives, nor is the goal to develop empathy. It is a space for thinking together--with the very people whose ideas we reject.

Sustainability Initiatives Aimed at Environmental Footprint Reduction – Lessons Learned from the College of EMS – Part III in the Climate Drawdown Initiative @ PSU Series

Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant completes an annual system-wide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory, but because of its broad scope, the inventory does not provide unit-level detail to be used by individual colleges and campuses to assess their emissions. Unit-level inventories may provide more detailed identification and management of potentially avoidable GHG emissions, and may increase unit accountability to reduce emissions, increase sustainability, and help progress university goals. Here I describe: 1) College of EMS sustainability efforts including our first college-level GHG emissions inventory; 2) a “how to” guide for other colleges and units who care to create their own inventory; and, 3) our EMS actions aimed at reducing our college's, and therefore the university's, C footprint.

Prior to the great talks, stop by breakout room #1 to chat about: “Innovation Gateway – an industry engagement tool” with Don Mothersbaugh or breakout room #2 to chat about Quilting with Leeanna Horner.

MRI Labs Open

Penn State is cautiously reopening its research labs and MRI is inviting industry and other universities who may not have reopened to make use of our Nanofabrication Facility, our Materials Characterization Laboratory, and the Materials Computation Center.

Please visit our website for information regarding these laboratories' capabilities and for contact information for the appropriate expert staff. For further information on MRI's and Penn State's response to the COVID-19 crisis.  Read full details here →


Per the Department of the State, the arrival of all visitors, visiting scholars, and post-docs who were expected to arrive prior to August 1, 2020 will be asked to reschedule their visits until further notice.

Focus on Materials Magazine

SENSORS: We are living in a world where sensors are ubiquitous and growing exponentially. The much talked about internet of things (IoT), in which sensors talk to humans and to other machines, is based on millions, even billions of different types of reliable and cost-effective sensors.
At Penn State, sensor research is in a kind of renaissance. In fact, this is the first Focus on Materials to have a theme issue on sensors in 15 years.

To receive a FREE printed issue, subscribe to "Printed Materials" and add/update your mailing address.

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The Materials Research Institute

A Culture of Interdisciplinary Research

Penn State’s investment in its interdisciplinary research institutes, including the Materials Research Institute (MRI), has created a culture of strong collaborations across disciplines. At Penn State, many researchers have the support of both their academic departments and the university-wide institutes, such as MRI. By encouraging crosscutting research, MRI and its sister institutes open up traditional silos of knowledge to the stimulus of other viewpoints and new ideas. This mingling of disciplines, often called “convergence,” brings together the physical and life sciences with engineering and computation to solve the most complex problems facing society today and in the future.

Request a Tour of the MSC

Four Lab Solution: Theory, Synthesis, Fabrication, Characterization

NSF MIP Materials Innovation Platform
2D Crystal Consortium (2DCC)

The 2DCC-MIP is focused on advancing the synthesis of 2D materials within the context of a national user facility.

The Materials Characterization Lab
Materials Characterization Lab

The Materials Characterization Lab (MCL) is a fully-staffed, open access, analytical research facility charged with enabling research and educating the next generation of highly qualified researchers.

The Materials Computation Center
Materials Computation Center

Our primary goal is to support internal and external users working in computer-based simulations of materials across the various length and time scales.

The Nanofabrication Lab
Nanofabrication Lab

Our staff scientists and engineers will enable users to transition fundamental research in nanomaterials to innovation-driven multicomponent integrated devices and systems.

New Capabilities & Emerging Materials Research

Complex metal parts made by additive manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing

"When it comes to U.S. manufacturing, we've lost our swagger, but additive manufacturing will get it back."

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Industry and University Collaboration

Every organization has different priorities and resources. Directors of the MRI facilities recognize this and help your company leverage our labs in various ways.
Find out more...