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Materials Science and Engineering: Translating fundamental discoveries at the nanoscale into materials that benefit society.

The vast majority of the materials people encounter every day have been engineered to have specific properties that make the materials useful or valuable. As materials scientists and engineers, our goal is to understand how the arrangement of the materials' structures on a very fine scale translates into materials with properties that can benefit society. Our department continually strives to expand its core strengths and to work across disciplines to address complex challenges, from more efficient jet engines to new electronic materials that extend the limits of Moore's law. With recent faculty hires, we have reinforced our expertise in corrosion, high-temperature materials, surfaces and interface science, electronic materials, and computational materials science. And we are firmly established in such emerging fields as two-dimensional materials, soft and/or biological materials, and functional thermal material systems.

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Our Faculty

Thumbnail of Nikhil Shukla
Phone: 434-924-6587

Nikhil Shukla

Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Research Areas
  • Emerging solid-state devices for Boolean and non-Boolean computing
  • Device and circuit solutions for large-scale data storage
  • Integration of novel materials and conventional devices for functional diversification
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Thumbnail of Leonid V. Zhigilei
Phone: 434-243-3582

Leonid V. Zhigilei

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Academic Advisor, MSE Virginia Engineering Online Program

Research Areas
  • Microscale Heat Transfer
  • Surface and Interface Science and Engineering
  • Computation Materials Science
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Thumbnail of Chip Blankenship
Phone: 434-297-4860

Chip Blankenship

Montgomery Distinguished Professor of Practice, Academic General Faculty, Teaching, Materials Science and Engineering

Research Areas
  • Structure Property Relationships in Structural Alloys
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Lean Manufacturing
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Thumbnail of James M. Howe
Phone: ​434- 982-5646

James M. Howe

Thomas Goodwin Digges Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Director of the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF), Faculty Advisor for the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Minor

Research Areas
  • Phase Transformations
  • Interfaces
  • Materials Characterization
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More About Our Department

Research Highlights

More About Us

  • 94

    Graduate students

  • 25

    Faculty members

  • $ 10 M

    In sponsored research for FY 2020