News & Events


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.

Mon, 04/25/2016

MSE Associate Professor Jihui Yang is an author on a paper in Nature Energy regarding an unexpected discovery that has led to a rechargeable battery that's as inexpensive as conventional car batteries, but has a much higher energy density. The new battery could become a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative for storing renewable energy and supporting the power grid.  The Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory funded the research, and more information may be found at the PNNL site:


Wed, 04/06/2016

Congratulations to MSE Senior Jon Ell and MSE graduate students William Hwang and Robert Masse on each winning a Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellowship from the National Science Foundation.  The GRFP Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large. 

More Information:  National Science Foundation News

Wed, 04/06/2016

Two graduates students of the Krishnan group, Ryan Hufschmid and Hamed Arami, received Graduate Student Silver Awards at the 2016 Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring meeting in Tempe, Arizona, for their presentations.  Ryan's was on "Controlled Dose for Aberration Corrected In Situ (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscopy Observations of Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Reduction Dynamics".  Hamed's was on "In Vivo Tissue Targeted Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI)".  Congratulations!

Tue, 04/05/2016 | UW Today

The UW has joined NextFlex, a consortium of 30 academic institutions and industrial partners to develop the next generation of flexible electronic devices. As well as making use of NextFlex’s Silicon Valley infrastructure and funding, the UW and its industry partners could combine funds, personnel, time, materials and facilities, including those under development. J. Devin MacKenzie helped secure funding for the NextFlex center before joining the UW in September 2015 to create new methods to produce printable and flexible electronics and energy devices for large-scale industrial applications. MacKenzie is a Washington Research Foundation Professor of Clean Energy who holds appointments in MSE, ME, and the UW Clean Energy Institute.

As a founding member of this alliance, the UW will seek local and regional partners in the electronics and manufacturing industries to develop and produce flexible electronics for applications from medicine to transportation.

Tue, 03/15/2016 | The Washington Post

With sadness, we report that Dr. John Cahn, retired from a long and distinguished career at National Institute of Standards and Technology, and a longtime Affiliate Professor at the UW Materials Science & Engineering and Physics departments, died on March 14, 2016, at the age of 88.  Dr. Cahn first joined MSE as an Affiliate Professor in 1984.  After retiring from NIH, he moved to Seattle in 2007 to be near family, and he continued his affiliate appointment until his death.  Please follow the link to the Washington Post obituary for details of his life and great contributions to the field of materials science and engineering.


Fri, 02/26/2016 | UW Foster School of Business

Updated March 4, 2016

At the inaugural UW Health Innovation Challenge, 18 student teams gave their 1-minute pitches on stage, then, back at their project displays, answered questions about their projects for leaders in health technology and innovation. Four MSE students were involved in various projects that made it to the final round. MSE B.S./M.S. student Shawn Swanson, whose team EpiForAll received a $1000 "Judges Also Really Liked" prize, said the team is looking forward to the UW Business Plan Competition. Swanson performed impact testing to better understand how to design the device, mechanical testing, and initial prototype testing, as well as extensive literature searching. In the process, the team has developed connections with PATH, and plan to meet with them soon to organize charitable distribution of their device.

Tweet your congratulations to the teams at @Epi4All and @#HIC2016.

Original post

Good luck to four MSE students whose projects made to to the final round of 18 in the UW Health Innovation Challenge competition! Allen Kim, a junior, is on the Terri Test team that has created a paper test for Lyme disease using carbon nanotubes that overcomes many significant challenges of the current testing standards, making testing significantly more efficient and cost effective. Wasinee Opal Sriapha (senior) and Nichole Chin (B.S./M.S. student) are part of the PHSH Belt team.The PHSH (pronounced "fish") is a non-elastic support belt that is able to provide safe, effective, non-invasive and comfortable stoma protection and abdominal wall support against herniation for ostomy patients. Shawn Swanson (B.S./M.S. student) is on the EpiForAll team, whose goal is to provide easy-to-use epinephrine auto-injectors to treat anaphylaxis in economically impoverished countries to effectively address the orphan need.

Read more about the teams that made the final round »

Fri, 02/12/2016 | UW Today
A team led by Boeing Distinguished Associate Professor Xiaodong Xu successfully combined two different ultrathin semiconductors — each just one layer of atoms thick and roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair — to make a new two-dimensional heterostructure with potential uses in clean energy and optically-active electronics. The team announced its findings in a paper published Feb. 12 in the journal Science. "What we’re seeing here is distinct from heterostructures made of 3-D semiconductors," said Xu, who has a joint appointment in the Department of Physics. "We've created a system to study the special properties of these atomically thin layers and their potential to answer basic questions about physics and develop new electronic and photonic technologies."
Wed, 02/10/2016 | National Science Foundation

Prof. Peter Pauzauskie has received a 5-year NSF Career Award for his project titled "Integrated Research & Education on Controlling the Size and Composition of Diamond Nanocrystals via Molecular Synthesis."

Tue, 01/19/2016 | UW Today

Thomson Reuters has selected three MSE faculty in their list of elite, highly cited scientific researchers. According to Reuters, the authors were selected "based on their respective output of top-cited papers in their fields... Covering an 11-year period (and presenting a special subset of "hot" researchers whose very recent work has won distinction in the form of citations), it features the scientists who have won acclaim and approval within a key population: their peers."

Professor Guozhong Cao's research is focused on chemical processing, characterization, and applications of nanostructured materials and coatings and devices for energy conversion and storage as well as sensors and actuators.

MSE Department Chair Alex Jen is the Boeing-Johnson Chair Professor and Chief Scientist at the Clean Energy Institute. His research is focused on utilizing molecular, polymeric, and biomacromolecular self-assembly to create ordered arrangement of organic and inorganic functional materials for photonics, opto-electronics, nanomedicine, and nanotechnology.

Miqin Zhang's research is geared toward developing materials and devices for biological and medical applications through the work in three laboratories: Nanoparticle Lab, Tissue Engineering Lab, and Biosensor Lab.

Tue, 11/17/2015 | UW Today
UW engineers used an infrared laser to cool water by about 36 degrees Fahrenheit — a major breakthrough in the field. The UW team demonstrated a hydrothermal process to manufacture a well-known laser crystal for laser refrigeration applications in a faster, inexpensive, and scalable way. They also designed an instrument that uses a laser trap to "hold" a single nanocrystal and illuminate it. The instrument projects the particle’s "shadow" to allow observation of minute changes in its motion due to cooling. The team includes MSE assistant professor Paden Roder, PhD, MSE '15, and UW doctoral students Bennett E. Smith (chemistry), Xuezhe Zhou (MSE), and Matthew Crane (chemical engineering). Their study is to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Nov. 16.
Sat, 08/22/2015 | HHMI News

MSE PhD student Junwei Li has been awarded an International Student Research Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The fellowship was established in 2011 to support international students during their third to fifth years of graduate school in the United States. This year awards went to 45 students in 18 countries.

Sat, 08/22/2015 | Science Magazine

MSE Affiliate Professor James De Yoreo of PNNL has an article published in the July 31, 2015 issue of Science: "Crystallization by particle attachment in synthetic, biogenic, and geologic environments."

Mon, 08/03/2015 | UW Today
New research shows a variety of pathways to crystal formation. Crystallization occurs across scientific disciplines; a shift in the picture of how it occurs has far-reaching consequences, says lead author and MSE affiliate professor James De Yoreo. These conclusions, published July 31 in Science with De Yoreo as lead author, have implications for decades-old questions in crystal formation, such as how animals and plants form minerals into shapes that have no relation to their original crystal symmetry or why some contaminants are so difficult to remove from stream sediments and groundwater. De Yoreo is also an affiliate professor in chemistry and a materials scientist and physicist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Wed, 04/22/2015 | KOMO4 News

MSE grad student Caitlin Cramer demonstrates how solar cells can be incorporated into everyday household fixtures, like window blinds, to generate clean, affordable energy for the home. Cramer is a member of the company Flexolar, which is using research developed at the UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) to build flexible and durable solar cells. Flexolar was one of four CEI-sponsored teams that competed in the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge.

Wed, 04/15/2015 | UW Electrical Engineering

MSE senior William Hwang, who has impressed faculty with his ability to excel at graduate level research, among other talents, has received the 2015 College of Engineering Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence.

“I am very honored and humbled to be selected for this prestigious award,” Hwang said.

Each year, the UW Engineering dean recognizes two students for academic excellence. Students are nominated by department chairs and must meet criteria including academic performance, research, leadership and extracurricular activities. Hwang will receive his award at the College of Engineering Awards event on May 28, 2015.

Hwang, who graduates in June 2015 with a double degree and departmental honors in both Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering, got an early start on his UW education. Following middle school, he was admitted to UW in Spring 2011 as an early entrance program student through the Robinson Center for Young Scholars.

Although an undergraduate, Hwang functions more like a graduate student, say his professors. In one instance, when Hwang reached a limit on what course materials could teach him about spin coating, he pursued advanced research as an independent study honors project. Working closely with EE faculty, Hwang has also contributed to two very different projects in speech and language processing: semantic similarity measures for text simplification and analysis of disfluencies in speech, which are filled pauses such as “um,” restarts and repetitions.

“William made more progress on this problem than a graduate student who was previously working on it, and his system outperforms all current baselines in the literature,” wrote a faculty member in her nomination letter regarding Hwang’s research on text simplification.

Hwang will intern at Intel this summer in the Architectural Verification group of the Xeon server processor line, where he will work on verifying the embedded system architecture of Intel’s 3rd third generation Xeon processor. In the fall, he will pursue begin a Master’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering at UW and haswith future plans to pursue a Ph.D. in either Materials Science & Engineering or Electrical Engineering.

Hwang is also the recipient of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship, the James I. Mueller Award and four Departmental scholarships awarded to undergraduate students in the College of Engineering.

Story adapted from UW Electrical Engineering website.

Thu, 03/26/2015 | UW Today

MSE's Xiaodong Xu, an associate professor in MSE and Physics, built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick. "We all want to make devices run faster with less energy consumption, so we need new technologies," said Xu. "The real innovation in this new approach of ours, compared to the old nanolasers, is that we're able to have scalability and more controls." Next steps include investigating photon statistics to establish the coherent properties of the laser's light.