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Grant focuses on 'hydrogen sponge' for use in fuel-cell vehicles

Penn State Food Scientist Turns Avocado Pits Into Natural Food Coloring

Low cost, scalable water-splitting fuels the future hydrogen economy

Research Breakthrough: Cold sintering of ceramics instead of high-temperature firing

CIMP-3D Advances Direct Metal Printing: Learn how the Center is advancing and deploying additive manufacturing technology for critical applications.

Research News

Jun 1 2017

The "clean-energy economy" always seems a few steps away but never quite here. Fossil fuels still power transportation, heating and cooling, and manufacturing, but a team of scientists from Penn State and Florida State University have come one step closer to inexpensive, clean hydrogen fuel with a lower cost and industrially scalable catalyst that produces pure hydrogen through a low-energy water-splitting process.

May 30 2017

One of the latest ventures to come out of Penn State, Persea Naturals, began with an unintended discovery. Gregory R. Ziegler, professor of food science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, was extracting starch from avocado pits when he noticed something interesting. When avocado pits are pulverized, an enzymatic reaction produces a bright orange color. After extracting the starch, Ziegler just couldn’t get the color to wash away.

May 19 2017

Research Breakthrough: Cold sintering of ceramics instead of high-temperature firing

Upcoming Events

Jun 6 2017

3rd Annual Pitch Competition sponsored by PPG is an opportunity for graduate students to pitch your research in 2 minutes or less.

Oct 17 2017

Materials Day 2017 will dig deep into a number of the emerging "Hot Topics in Materials" research.

May 10 2017

The workshop will bring together a wide spectrum of research scientists to build synergy in layered materials and nano-device research.

May 7 2017

This international conference will cover the most recent advancements in the science and technology of ferroelectric and dielectric materials.

Jun 14 2017

June 14: TGA and Simultaneous DSC/TGA Analysis

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.

Millennium Cafe

Harnessing Big Data to Address Pollinator Decline

Bees are critical pollinators of agricultural crops, but populations of both managed and wild pollinators are in decline globally.  Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research represents the largest consortium in the world of researchers, educators, extension specialists and outreach coordinates tackling issues related to pollinator decline, management and biology.  Multiple interacting factors are driving pollinator declines, many of which are associated with biotic and abiotic features of the landscape, including the availability of forage, pesticide use, population densities, and climate.  We are coupling information on honey bee population health with landscape information to develop predictive models of bee health.   Our goal is to develop a web-based tool that beekeepers, land managers, growers, and policymakers can use to evaluate the quality of their landscapes for supporting bee populations and obtain recommendations for improving their landscapes and management practices.

The Exquisite Corpse: The Intersection of Art, Anatomy, and Technological Innovation

Exploding traditional disciplinary boundaries, Cristin Millett’s investigations of medicine and its history are integral to her artistic process. Her research stems from her childhood growing up in a medical household where discussions focused on the human body. Whereas most scholars respond to their research through writing, Millett expresses the results of her critical analysis by creating works of art. She reinvents established methods of sculpture by incorporating new advances in digital technology, including CNC machining, 3D printing, and robotics, with the time-honored practices of stone carving and bronze casting. Her objects and installations prompt a contemporary cultural critique of societal issues surrounding reproduction and gender identity.

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

High-res Image from the TEM
In Situ Characterization

Flurry of innovations in new components that can be placed inside the TEM

Materials-Related Institutes, Facilities, & Centers





Energy Institute




Institute for Cyberscience


Industry and University Collaboration

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