VA research scientist Liang Dong and University Professor Haydn Wadley have been awarded the 2017 Werner Koester Award for best paper. Each year the International Journal of Materials Research (IJMR) honours the "best paper" that appeared in the volume of IJMR of the preceding year.

The winning paper was entitled “Strong cellular lattices with nitro-carburized stainless steel hollow trusses.” Wadley's fellow co-authors and collaborators were Liang Dong (lead author, UVA), Arthur Heuer, Zhen Li, and Harold Kahn (Case Western Reserve University) and Vikram Deshpande of the Cambridge University. The award will be presented in Dresden, September 2017 at the German Society of Materials Science (DGM).

Liang Dong joined the Wadley from Wisconsin-Madison following a post-doctoral position with Roderic Lakes, with whom he did his PhD. Dong has been with the Wadley group since July of 2012. His work focuses on the design, fabrication and characterization of cellular materials.


The Wadley group has a long history of leading in the development of topologically optimized cellular materials made from high performance materials such as carbon, silicon carbide and aluminum oxide fibers using state of the art polymers and light metallic alloys to interconnect them. Abundantly found in nature (bone, tree trunks, exoskeletons), cellular materials have very high strength to weight ratios and offer many opportunities to make lighter structures for automobiles, planes, ships and space vehicles. In 2016, Haydn Wadley, along with coauthors Brad Richards, and Hengbei Zhao, were also award the 2015 Robert W. Cahn Prize for the best paper of that year in the Journal of Materials Science.

The current research on nitro-carburised stainless steel hollow trusses sought to use the very high strength (nitrogen and carbon hardened) surfaces of the tubes to resist buckling and resulted in significantly improved strength over their annealed lattice counterparts. Improvements in pitting corrosion and fatigue loading resistance were also expected by use of this process. Their recent findings suggests that nitro-carburized 304 stainless steel collinear lattices will be promising candidates for lightweight sandwich cores intended for elevated temperature and multifunctional applications.