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Clive Randall, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Materials Research Institute at Penn State, has been named an Evan Pugh University Professor. Credit: Penn State. Creative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Clive Randall, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Materials Research Institute at Penn State, has been named an Evan Pugh University Professor. The Evan Pugh University Professorship is the highest distinction bestowed upon faculty by Penn State.

“Clive has been a tremendous asset to the college and University,” said Lee Kump, the John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “His contributions, including breakthroughs in cold sintering and inspirational leadership of the Materials Research Institute, are a big part of why Penn State leads the nation in materials research. He has also been a supportive mentor of early career faculty and a wonderful colleague.”

Randall is a world leader in ceramics and functional materials. His research interests are in the area of discovery and compositional design of functional materials for electrical energy transduction and storage, defect chemistry and crystal chemistry and their impact on phase transition behavior, electromechanical devices based upon electrostriction and piezoelectrics, supercapacitors, thermoelectrics and microwave materials.

“I feel very humbled as the recipient of the Evan Pugh Professorship, and receive it on behalf of multiple colleagues, postdoctoral scholars, staff, visiting scientists, the many students and my family who have supported and worked with me over the years,” Randall said. “Through team efforts we have done and impacted fundamental understanding through to developing processes and metrology that impact electronic components that are in all our computers, cars and cell phones. Looking back at all the Evan Pugh’s that have impacted materials research at Penn State over the years, this is clearly a case of standing on the shoulders of giants.”

A number of past Evan Pugh professors, National Academy Members and materials science and engineering pioneers are highlighted on the walls of the Millennium Science Complex, and on the Materials Research Institute’s website.

Randall has introduced a number of novel processing methods for fabricating bulk nanocomposites, including dielectrophoretic assembly of ceramic polymer composites, and more recently, the introduction of the cold sintering process. His group has also contributed to the fundamental understanding of the nature of polarization in ferroelectrics and related materials, size effect phenomenon, and defect dynamics in dielectric materials.

Randall joined the Penn State faculty in 1987 as a research associate in ferroelectrics. He was promoted to senior research associate in 1992, to associate professor in 1994 and to full professor in 1999. In 2021, he was named a distinguished professor of materials science and engineering.

Randall served as director of the Center for Dielectric Studies from 1997 to 2013, and as co-director of the Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics from 2013 to 2015, for which he still serves as a technical adviser. He has authored more than 500 technical papers and 28 patents.

Randall has received many honors including election to World Academy of Ceramics, named as a fellow of the European Ceramic Society, fellow of the American Ceramic Society, fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He also is an honorary fellow of the European Ceramic Society. He received the Faculty Scholar Medal from Penn State in 2009 and was named the Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE in 2019.

As an active member of American Ceramic Society, Randall was honored by the society with the Fulrath Award in 2002, the Spriggs Phase Equilibria Award in 2008 and selected to give the prestigious Friedberg Lecture, and the Edward Orton, Jr Memorial Lecture in 2011 and in 2021. He received, along with his students, the Edward C. Henry Best Paper of the Year twice from the American Ceramics Society Electronics Division in 2012 and 2016.

Randall earned his bachelor of science degree with honors in physics in 1983 from the University of East Anglia, and a doctorate in experimental physics from the University of Essex in 1987.