News & Events


Wed, 01/17/2018 | UW Engineering

For the last decade, Aaron Feaver has used his entrepreneurial drive to pioneer the development of new low-carbon dioxide energy sources. His commitment to developing solutions in clean energy has solidified Washington state as a leader in the movement to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment, a driver of climate change. In 2003, Aaron left a career at Boeing to build a company in the field of renewable energy. He chose to pursue a degree in materials science and engineering to develop the technology. As a Ph.D. student, he researched low-cost carbon materials for hydrogen storage, laying the foundation for the energy start-up EnerG2. More about Aaron Feaver »

The 2018 Diamond Awards will be held on Thursday, May 10, 6–9 p.m.

Mon, 09/25/2017 | UW News
The new Molecular Engineering Materials Center's goal is to empower the next generation of science and engineering leaders. This will involve engaging and supporting students and postdoctoral researchers — and giving them the research and educational experiences, training and cross-disciplinary mentorship that they will need to forge careers on the cutting edge of materials science. “With this NSF support, the center will bring new opportunities in STEM education to groups that are underrepresented in STEM careers,” said UW professor of materials science and engineering Christine Luscombe, who is the center’s executive director for education and outreach. Luscombe helped lead the effort to secure NSF support for the Molecular Engineering Materials Center, along with MSE's Xiaodong Xu, and faculty across Engineering and the UW. Xiaodong Xu will be co-leading a team focused on the creation of new ultrathin semiconductor materials with unique properties. The center is funded by a $15.6 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation as part of its highly competitive Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program.
Wed, 08/23/2017 | GeekWire
GeekWire visited the UW’s Clean Energy Testbeds to learn how the Testbeds' open-access infrastructure is key in reducing the time and money needed to turn innovative ideas into working prototypes. Materials Science & Engineering associate professor Devin MacKenzie is technical director of the Testbeds that have attracted users ranging from startups to Microsoft. MacKenzie showed off a new multistage roll-to-roll printer for solar cells, batteries, sensors, optical films, and thin-film devices and described how new hybrid materials can help double the efficiency of solar cells.
Sat, 07/29/2017 | The Seattle Times

EpiForAll started as an idea in UW Engineering's Engineering Innovation in Health class and is now on the path toward commercialization -- and bringing down skyrocketing cost of life-saving medicine.

EpiForAll won a first-place prize in the UW Buerk Center’s Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, which came with a $15,000 award. That gave the EpiForAll team a high profile, as well as money to keep the project working.

Mon, 07/17/2017 | UW Today

Peter Pauzauskie, an assistant professor in MSE, leads a research team that has developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers. The team published a paper in the journal Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering describing their supercapacitor electrode and their novel production method that starts with carbon-rich materials dried into a low-density matrix, or aerogel. This aerogel on its own can act as a crude electrode, but Pauzauskie’s team more than doubled its capacitance. "One gram of aerogel contains about as much surface area as one football field," said Pauzauskie.

Mon, 06/26/2017
Jihui Yang, the Kyocera Professor in MSE, will take on the position of Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, starting September 1, 2017. Jihui has provided leadership in the department as chair of the undergraduate committee, and brings experience in both academia and industry that will position the department to grow and excel in the coming years. More about Jihui Yang's appointment »
Wed, 06/21/2017 | UW Today

"If you want to interface electronics and biology, you need a material that effectively communicates across those two realms," says David Ginger, senior author of a paper published in Nature Materials. UW researchers directly measured a thin film made of a single type of conjugated polymer — a conducting plastic — as it interacted with ions (in biology) and electrons (technology). Variations in the polymer layout yielded rigid and non-rigid regions of the film, and these regions could accommodate electrons or ions — but not both equally.

MSE Associate Professor and co-author Christine Luscombe, along with her team at the UW’s Clean Energy and Molecular Engineering and Science institutes, made new poly(3-hexylthiophene) films that had different levels of rigidity based on variations in polymer arrangement to confirm that structural variations in the polymer were the cause of variations in electrochemical properties of the film.

Wed, 06/07/2017 | UW Today
A team led by Xiaodong Xu, a UW professor in MSE, and researchers at MIT has for the first time discovered magnetism in the 2-D world of monolayers, or materials that are formed by a single atomic layer. The findings, published June 8 in the journal Nature, demonstrate that magnetic properties can exist even in the 2-D realm — opening a world of potential applications. "What we have discovered here is an isolated 2-D material with intrinsic magnetism, and the magnetism in the system is highly robust," said Xu, also a member of the UW's Clean Energy Institute. "We envision that new information technologies may emerge based on these new 2-D magnets." Magnetic materials form the basis of technologies that include sensing and hard-disk data storage. According to Xu, "... an even greater opportunity can arise when you stack monolayers with different physical properties together. There, you can get even more exotic phenomena not seen in the monolayer alone or in the 3-D bulk crystal."
Fri, 06/02/2017
UW360 features Shawn Swanson ('16, MS MSE) and the EpiForAll team's inexpensive, reusable epinephrine injector that should start to be available in developing countries in 2018. With lifesaving commercial epinephrine pens costing $650 a piece, they also see a future in U.S. markets for their injector that costs just a few dollars and takes replacement epinephrine ampules that also cost less than $10. The team originated out of the Engineering Innovation in Health program and recently won 4th place and a $15,000 prize at the 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.
Tue, 04/18/2017 | Nature Materials
Prof. Jim De Yoreo and researchers at PNNL, while trying to understand the paths crystals take as they form, have been able to influence that path by modifying the starting ingredient. A small change to a peptoid that crystallizes in one step sends the modified peptoid down a more complicated path from disordered clump to crystal. "We were not expecting that such a minor change makes the peptoids behave this way," said De Yoreo. "The results are making us think about the system in a new way, which we believe will lead to more predictive control over the design and assembly of biomimetic materials." The research could eventually help scientists better control the design of a variety of products for energy or medical technologies. Read more: Press release | Nature Materials article
Tue, 04/11/2017 | UW Today
Fumio Ohuchi, MSE professor and interim chair, will direct a new collaboration between the UW and Japan’s Tohoku University and will oversee UW-based activities. The two leading research institutions of the Pacific Rim have agreed to create an Academic Open Space (AOS) to foster collaborations and academic exchanges. The AOS will build upon current collaborations in aerospace design and materials, as well as launch new science and engineering partnerships. "By location, faculty expertise, industrial partners and even shared seismic hazards, there are many ways that these two universities complement one another and can work well together," said Ohuchi.
Mon, 03/20/2017 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

Bruce Hinds' research group is pioneering efforts in "active" membranes that selectively electro-pump target bio-molecules. During dialysis, this will allow recovery of important nutrients and proteins for chemical balance, and can be contained in a compact device. Read more »

Fri, 02/17/2017 | UW Today

The UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) created the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds to increase the rate at which breakthrough science and engineering discoveries turn into market-adopted clean energy technologies. The state-of-the-art user facility has labs for manufacturing prototypes, testing devices, and integrating systems. CEI unveiled the Testbeds on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at a celebration with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, cleantech leaders, and clean energy researchers. Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Professor J. Devin MacKenzie — a seasoned cleantech entrepreneur and global expert in electronic materials and emerging manufacturing methods for energy devices, displays, and communication — will lead the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds.
Photo credit: Matt Hagen

Fri, 02/17/2017 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

prototype whitening losenge tablet Deniz Yucesoy, a graduate student in MSE's GEMSEC Labs, has been awarded an Amazon Catalyst grant for a project titled "Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Lozenges for Healthy Daily Use."

Current whitening products typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient, which remove discoloration by dissolving stained minerals from the surface of teeth. Although this chemical-etching process reveals a fresh surface, it is often at the expense of removing healthy enamel — the fully mineralized crown of teeth which provides protection and cannot regenerate. As a consequence, the inner layer, dentin, becomes exposed — creating complications, such as hypersensitivity and increased susceptibility to caries (cavities), which, taken together, far outweigh the cosmetic benefits.

Newly developed tooth-whitening lozenges dissolve in saliva recruiting calcium and phosphate ions to the surface of teeth and create a new mineral layer through a restorative process thereby eliminating undesirable stains. When fully developed through the Catalyst Project, whitening lozenges will be used, clinically and over-the-counter product worldwide, for both therapeutic (remineralization) and cosmetic (whitening) purposes providing a safer alternative to the existing peroxide-containing corrosive treatments.

The Whitening Lozenge Team members: Sanaz Saadat, Sami Dogan, MSE Professor Mehmet Sarikaya, MSE grad student Deniz Yucesoy, and MSE Research Scientist, Hanson Fong

The Whitening Lozenge Team members (l to r): Sanaz Saadat (grad student, Oral Health Sciences), Sami Dogan (Assistant Professor and Clinician, Restorative Dentistry), Mehmet Sarikaya (Professor and PI, MSE), Deniz Yucesoy (MSE grad student and The Catalyst Lead, MSE), and Hanson Fong (Research Scientist, MSE).

Tue, 02/07/2017 | UW Electrical Engineering

MSE associate professor Xiaodong Xu, along with Arka Majumdar, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, and their team have discovered an important first step towards building electrically pumped nanolasers (or light-based sources). These lasers are critical in the development of integrated photonic based short-distance optical interconnects and sensors. Short distance optical interconnects can improve the performance of data centers, allowing them to be energy-efficient and support high performance parallel computing. The results were published in a recent edition of Nano Letters.

Mon, 12/19/2016 | uw today

Miqin Zhang, a professor in UW MSE, is looking for ways to help the body heal itself when injury, disease or surgery cause large-scale damage to one type of tissue in particular: skeletal muscle. Muscles have a limited ability to regenerate, repair and realign themselves properly after certain types of damage.

Zhang and her team are taking a synthetic approach to muscle regeneration. Their goal is to create a synthetic, porous, biologically compatible "scaffold" that mimics the normal extracellular environment of skeletal muscle &mdash' onto which human cells could migrate and grow new replacement fibers. Their research is published in the Nov. 16 issue of Advanced Materials.

Tue, 11/29/2016 | UW Today
MSE professor Miqin Zhang leads research on a new system to encase chemotherapy drugs within tiny, synthetic “nanocarrier” packages, which could be injected into patients and disassembled at the tumor site to release their toxic cargo. “Our nanocarrier system is really a hybrid addressing two needs — drug delivery and tumor imaging,” said Zhang, senior author on a paper published Sept. 27 in the journal Small. “First, this nanocarrier can deliver chemotherapy drugs and release them in the tumor area, which spares healthy tissue from toxic side effects. Second, we load the nanocarrier with materials to help doctors visualize the tumor, either using a microscope or by MRI scan.”
Wed, 10/26/2016 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

Professor Kannan Krishnan’s textbook “Magnetism and Magnetic Materials” was formally released in the United States on October 18, 2016.

Krishnan’s book, twelve years in the making, has a unique multidisciplinary focus, tailored to a broad audience of physicists, materials scientists, engineers, chemists, biologists, and medical doctors.

“[He] has written what could become a new standard textbook in the field of magnetic materials,” said Urs Hafeli, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia.


Tue, 10/18/2016 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

MSE research associate Ryan Toivola won Best Paper at the 2016 Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX).

Toivola’s paper “Time Temperature Indicator Film for Monitoring Composite Repair Adhesive Cure using Thermochromic Fluorescent Molecules” won Best Paper in the Non-Destructive Evaluation and Testing (NDE) category.

Rita Taitano Johnson, MSE graduate student, also won Runner-Up for her poster “Improving Adhesive Bonding of Composites Through Surface Characterization Using Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC) Methods.”

CAMX was created by the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) to connect and advance all aspects of the world’s composites and advanced materials communities.


Fri, 10/14/2016 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

On October 12, 2016, Devin MacKenzie and Christine Luscombe, Associate Professors of Materials Science & Engineering joined Clean Energy Institute Director Dan Schwarz for a research showcase and introduction to the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds (WCET) for Rep. Norma Smith.

Rep. Norma Smith is responsible for the bill that established the Joint Center for Deployment and Research in Earth Abundant Materials (JCDREAM) to provide the organizational framework to stimulate innovation in the use of earth abundant materials.

Devin MacKenzie and Rep. Norma Smith in the CEI lab with Dan Schwartz

Devin MacKenzie, Dan Schwartz, and Rep. Norma Smith (left to right). Photos courtesy of UW State Relations.

Luscombe discussed how she is using earth abundant materials in her lab as well as her work as faculty adviser for Diversity in Clean Energy (DICE).

MacKenzie discussed his work in sustainable batteries and new methods and materials for solar energy.

Tue, 10/11/2016 | Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Professor Kannan Krishnan has won the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize for his academic achievements.

As part of this award Prof. Krishnan is invited to undertake long periods of research in collaboration with German scientists and institutions. Krishnan "is well recognized as an international expert in elucidating structure property relations in a wide range of magnetic and spintronics materials," said the nominator Professor Michael Farle of the University of Duisburg-Essen Department of Physics. Read more »

Mon, 10/03/2016 | UW Today

MSE professor Mehmet Sarikaya leads research that has unveiled peptides that could improve results in how we treat disease, repair damaged tissue. and replace lost limbs. While implanted electrodes scar, wires overheat and our bodies struggle against ill-fitting pumps, pipes or valves, a paper published published Sept. 22 in Scientific Reports shows how a genetically engineered peptide can assemble into nanowires atop 2-D, solid surfaces that are just a single layer of atoms thick. These nanowire assemblages are critical because the peptides relay information across the bio/nano interface through molecular recognition — the same principles that underlie biochemical interactions such as an antibody binding to its specific antigen or protein binding to DNA.

Mon, 10/03/2016 | UW College of Engineering

Four MSE faculty have been awarded funding through the College of Engineering Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) program to form the Center for Integrated Printed Systems (CIPriS). In partnership with other UW Engineering faculty, Devin Mackenzie, Alex Jen, Christine Luscombe, and Xiaodong Xu proposed the creation of CIPriS to bring together the emerging Washington Research Foundation Roll-to-Roll facility, the Clean Energy Institute Scaleup Testbed, and Nano Engineering and Sciences along with existing labs and a broad interdisciplinary team of UW CoE faculty. This exciting project spans from nano-scale to miles in several important areas such as energy (printable solar cells and thin film batteries), health care (wearable electronics for health sensors), and scalable manufacturing (roll-to-roll, 3D printing and thin film aircraft mechanical and thermal sensors).

For more information about CIPriS and other 2016 SRI Awardees, please visit

Wed, 09/21/2016 | Materials Research Society

Congratulations to Jim De Yoreo on receiving the very prestigious Materials Research Society’s (MRS) David Turnbull Lectureship Award for 2016! De Yoreo, an MSE affiliate professor, is being honored for helping shape the world's understanding of crystallization science. De Yoreo, who is also an affiliate professor in UW Chemistry and lead at the PNNL Materials Synthesis and Simulation Across Scales Initiative, will give a technical lecture at the MRS Fall Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts in November. The David Turnbull Lectureship Award recognizes the career of a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to understanding materials phenomena and properties through research, writing, and lecturing, as exemplified by the late David Turnbull of Harvard University.

Thu, 06/09/2016

Peter Pauzauskie and his team have their eyes focused on laser innovations. Last year they unveiled an approach to cooling liquids using laser light. Now, as part of a MURI grant led by Mansoor Sheik-Bahae at the University of New Mexico, Pauzauskie’s research group is joining a larger collaboration to develop self-cooling lasers. Their efforts would address a major limitation in today’s laser technology.