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Developing a quick-acting foam for treating wounds on the battlefield

Van Duin awarded DoE funding to continue critical energy research

Physicists implement a version of Maxwell's famous thought experiment for reducing entropy

3D electron microscopy uncovers the complex guts of desalination membranes

Engineering to benefit humanity: Student looks to developing nations

Research News

Sep 12 2018

Birgitt Boschitsch has earned many titles – mechanical engineer, Penn State doctoral student, bourgeoning entrepreneur. But no matter how she’s using her talents, she always remembers why she pursued engineering.

“Day-to-day, I get to work on interesting technological problems,” she said. “But there’s also a long-term societal impact that engineers can have, which is ultimately solving problems for people around the world.”

Aug 29 2018

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1.8 million to a team of scientists led by John Badding, professor of chemistry, physics, and materials science and engineering at Penn State, to establish the NSF Center for Nanothread Chemistry (CNC). The center will bring together a diverse group of chemists to pioneer research on nanothreads, a new form of carbon molecule.

Aug 27 2018

A team of researchers from Penn State’s Materials Research Institute and the University of Utah has developed a wearable energy harvesting device that could generate energy from the swing of an arm while walking or jogging. The device, about the size of a wristwatch, produces enough power to run a personal health monitoring system.

Upcoming 2018 Events

10 a.m. MSC 3rd Floor Commons
The Millennium Cafe
24 - 25
Materials Day

History of Materials at Penn State

Materials Day October 24-25

2018 Materials Day Grand Challenges in Materials

Millennium Cafe

“New Goodies in MCL: A Few Capabilities You Might not Know About”

An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, the Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) is a fully-staffed, open access, analytical research facility at Penn State's Materials Research Institute charged with enabling researchers from > 40 academic departments.  We will highlight a few new/novel capabilities in molecular spectroscopy, x-ray scattering, sample preparation, optical microscopy, and surface analysis.

“Apologia Pro Vita Sua“- Part II in the Morals, Ethics, and Faith in our Science Communities Miniseries

In Part I of this series, Dr. Crystal Ramsey challenged us to consider not just  the “what” and the “how” regarding our academic endeavors, but also the “why”.  We were encouraged to explore “what if” questions such as:

  • What if I knew “why” a researcher was doing her/his/their research?  
  • What if my “why” is where I can communicate with anyone about anything without data?  

In the spirit of articulating “why”, I’ve borrowed the title of a work by 19th century British theologian/educator, John Henry Newman; “Apologia Pro Vita Sua” which roughly translates to “a rationale for my life.”  I will discuss, with a biographical bend, my wrestling with the contours of a relationship between faith and knowledge, recognizing that the history of the academy, at least in part, suggests the impropriety if not the impossibility of such.

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.

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

Colorized SEM image of graphene
2D Materials and Coatings

One atom-thick substrate of graphene with pristine interfaces between the two layers

Focus on Materials Magazine

In the latest issue of Focus on Materials, the boundaries between materials science, engineering, and the life sciences are blurring. We offer a glimpse into the fascinating world of “convergence,” where the future of healthcare lies.

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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.
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