Professor Richard B. Kaner Awarded Materials Research Society Medal (2015)

“The MRS Medal recognizes an exceptional achievement in materials research in the past ten years. A medal will be awarded for a major advance or cluster of closely related advances in any materials-related field of research. The impact of this research on the progress of the relevant materials field will be a primary consideration in making the... read more

Gift from Edward and Linda Rice Establishes Bescher Scholarship in Materials Science

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has established the Eric Pascal Bescher Scholarship in Materials Science, thanks to a gift of $100,000 from CTS Cement Manufacturing Co. The endowed scholarship will support undergraduate students who major in materials science and engineering. Bescher is an associate adjunct professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UCLA Engineering and is a leading researcher in advanced cementitious materials. The scholarship was created in Bescher’s name to honor his work with calcium sulfoaluminate cement, which is stronger, more durable and is produced more sustainably than other materials commonly used in major construction projects. “Eric is a leader in applied research on the development of new and longer-lasting materials for better infrastructure,” said Edward Rice, chairman of CTS Cement. “He helped develop pavement that will last 100 years, instead of the usual 20 to 30 years of Portland cement pavement. We want to both show our regard for Eric’s contributions and encourage talented students to pursue work in this important field, where they can impact the world for the better.” Edward Rice and his wife Linda Rice are longtime supporters of UCLA Engineering. Edward Rice is a former lecturer and adjunct professor of materials science at UCLA Engineering. He has led a distinguished career in cement and major construction projects, and holds 23 patents in concrete and building technology. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council and received the UCLA Engineering Lifetime Contribution Award in 2013. Previous gifts from Edward and Linda Rice to UCLA Engineering include funds for a school conference room, the annual UCLA Engineering Outstanding... read more

UCLA Materials Scientists Take Big Step Toward Tougher Ductile Ceramics

Advance could lead to more durable, higher-performing components for spacecraft technology and tiny mechanical systems By Matthew Chin A team of materials scientists at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is exploring ways to create tough ceramics, a long sought-after class of materials that would be exceptionally hard, capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures and less prone to corrosion than metals, but still have the ability to become dented or deformed without fracturing — a property called ductility. In other words, a ceramic that bends but doesn’t break. The researchers focused on compounds called transition-metal carbides whose atoms are held together by three types of chemical bonds — ionic, covalent and metallic. The combination of the three bonds, researchers believe, is what makes these materials tough. To validate that hypothesis, the team performed compression tests on single crystals of two transition-metal carbides, zirconium carbide and tantalum carbide, inside a transmission electron microscope. They observed that the crystals deformed — that is, they changed shape without cracking — at room temperature. This showed that the crystals’ size and orientation play an important role in the materials’ mechanical behavior. “Ultra–high-temperature ceramics are highly desirable in aerospace and other industries where durable structural components are required to maintain their strength and stability at elevated temperatures,” said Suneel Kodambaka, associate professor of materials science and engineering. “Transition-metal carbides are attractive for these applications because they are very hard and do not melt until they reach very high temperatures.” Materials scientists use the term “hardness” as a measure of a material’s resistance to mechanical pressure, and the property can be measured... read more

UCLA Engineering Grad Student Earns Fellowship to Study in Paris

UCLA materials science and engineering doctoral student Yuan Lin will spend the 2015-16 academic year conducting research at the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (UPMC) and at a photonics and nanostructures lab in in Paris thanks to a fellowship offered through the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Chateaubriand Fellowships in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Health aim to “initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between French and American research teams,” according to the Office of Science and Technology at the French Embassy. This year 43 doctoral students across the United States received a Chateubriand STEM fellowship. Lin is entering her third year of graduate study under her advisor Ioanna Kakoulli, associate professor of materials science and engineering, and chair of the UCLA/Getty Conservation Interdepartmental Program. Lin’s research is in ancient Egyptian and Chinese man-made ceramic blue pigments. Lin is reconstructing their production technology of and designing new nanocomposites based on these two pigments, exploring turning the chemical compounds that make those pigments into nanosheets – thin layers only a few atoms in thickness –as they have luminescent properties with applications in optical imaging technologies. She first took interest in the science of color after a middle-school visit to the Terracotta Army of the first emperor of China, a famous archeological site in Xi’an. Though now bereft of their original color, the warriors and horses were very brightly painted. Lin will conduct part of her Ph.D. research project on Egyptian blue and Chinese blue at the Laboratoire d’Archéologie Moléculaire et Structurale at UPMC under the supervision of its director Philippe Walter, and in collaboration with researcher Gilles Patriarche at the... read more

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