​B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts - LowellM.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, 1995​Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, 1998

James M. Fitz-Gerald (Jim) is an Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering.  He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Florida in 1998 followed by post-doctoral studies at the Naval Research Laboratory.  At this time he is a co-author on over 90 refereed journal and conference proceedings, 30 invited talks, over 120 contributed presentations, and has co-founded three companies. His research and teaching interests are broad, overlapping in the mechanical and biomedical communities. Material processing through rapid stimulation represents a common thread.  

Particular emphasis in areas of interest: in situ characterization of laser generated plume dynamics for pulsed laser deposition, nanoscale powder coatings, thin films for drug delivery, magnetic thin films, growth and characterization of luminescent thin films, surface engineering, mechanical and electrochemical investigations of additively manufactured components, and corrosion mitigation strategies for bulk and thin film materials.




  • Recipient of a Mead Endowment Award, Experiential Learning at the University of Virginia, Lacy Hall: Student - Led Programs”, given in recognition of undergraduate mentoring beyond the classroom in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 2016
  • Recipient of the Henry Kinnier Award given in recognition of undergraduate mentoring beyond the classroom in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, from the Mead Endowment 2013
  • Recipient of the Hartfield-Jefferson Scholars Teaching Prize in recognition of excellence in undergraduate teaching in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, from the Jefferson Scholars Foundation 2013
  • Conference Program Chair of 2013 International Meeting of the American Vacuum Society: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing,, Long Beach, CA 2013
  • Recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching Award in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science 2001

Research Interests

  • Optoelectronic Devices
  • Corrosion and Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering
  • Surface and Interface Science and Engineering
  • Metallurgy
  • Materials Characterization
  • Mechatronics
  • Laser-materials interactions

Selected Publications

  • Investigation of Critical Processing Parameters on Laser Surface Processing of AZ31B-H24 M.A. Melia, D.C. Florian, F.W. Steuer, B.F. Briglia, M.K. Purzycki, J.R. Scully, and J.M. Fitz-Gerald, Surface and Coatings Tech. 325, 157-165, (2017)
  • Laser Irradiation of Mg-Al-Zn Alloy: Reduced Electrochemical Kinetics and Enhanced Performance in Simulated Body Fluid D. C. Florian, M. A. Melia, F. W. Steuer, B. Briglia, M. Purzycki, J. R. Scully, and J. M. Fitz-Gerald, Biointerphases, 12 (2), 021003-1-9, (2017)
  • Ir-doped anatase TiO2 transparent conducting oxide for use in optoelectronics A. Slonopas, M. Melia, T. Globus, J. M. Fitz-Gerald, and Pamela Norris, J. Materials Science, 51, 8995-9004, (2016)
  • Excimer Laser Surface Modification of AZ31B-H24 for Improved Corrosion Resistance M. Melia, P. Steiner, N. Birbilis, J.R. Scully, and J.M. Fitz-Gerald, Corrosion, 72, 1, 95-109, (2016)
  • Evaluation of the Potential Range for Sacrificial Mg Anodes for the Cathodic Protection of Mg Alloy AZ31B-H24 T.W. Cain, M.A. Melia, J.M. Fitz-Gerald, and J.R. Scully, Corrosion, 73 (5), 544-562, (2017)
  • Effects of Laser Ablation Coating Removal (LACR) on a Steel Substrate: Part 1: Surface Profile, Microstructure, Hardness, and Adhesion M. Shamsujjoha, J.R. Brooks, T.J. Tyler, Jr., S.R. Agnew, and J.M. Fitz-Gerald, J. of Surface and Coatings Technology, 281, 193-205, (2015)
  • Dynamics of the inverse MAPLE nanoparticle deposition process M.A. Steiner and J.M. Fitz-Gerald, Applied Physics A, 119 (2), 629-638 (2015)
  • Strain induced microstructural and ordering behaviors of epitaxial Fe38.5Pd61.5 films grown by pulsed laser deposition M. Steiner, R. Comes, J. A. Floro, W. A. Soffa, and J. M. Fitz-Gerald, JVST A, 31 (5), 050824-1–050824-13 (2013)

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Engineering 8/23/17-12/7/17
  • Manufacturing and Processing of Materials 1/23/18-5/15/17

Featured Grants & Projects

  • Active corrosion protection of magnesium alloys via functional anodic coatings

    Sponsor: U.S. DOD – Army, ARL, Period: 12/13 to 12/17 PI: J.R. Scully, J.M. Fitz-Gerald, N. Birbilis

  • Implementation of coating Removal Technique for Steel Components on VDOT Bridges

    Sponsor: Virginia Transportation Research Council, 7/16 to 6/18 P.I.: J.M. Fitz-Gerald, S.R. Agnew

  • Welding of ASTM A1010 Steel

    Sponsor: Virginia Transportation Research Council, 8/16 to 7/18 P.I.: J.M. Fitz-Gerald, S.R. Agnew

  • Quantitative Investigation of the Mechanical Performance and Residual Stress of Additively Manufactured Precipitation Strengthened Stainless Steels

    Sponsor: U.S. DOD - Navy - Naval Surface Warfare Ctr. (NSWC), 4/2016 – 04/2019 P.I.: S.R. Agnew, J.M. Fitz-Gerald

  • Real-Time Monitoring of Laser Surface Preparation Process for Improved Bonding

    Sponsor: NASA, 1/1/17-1/1/19 P.I. Fitz-Gerald

  • Effect of Defects in Selective Laser Melted Inconel 718

    Sponsor: NASA, 7/17-7/19 P.I.: Fitz-Gerald

  • Aluminum Alloy Design and Synthesis for Additive Manufacturing

    Sponsor: NASA, 7/17-7/19 P.I.: Fitz-Gerald