Opila Group News

News and updates from the Advanced High Temperature Materials Research Group, led by Dr. Beth Opila.


    Fun at MS&T October 2023

    November 19, 2023

    Six students presented research at the MS&T conference in Columbus, OH, October, 2023.  We also had a little fun at the Arnold statue in front of the convention center.

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    It's been a while...

    November 19, 2023

    Lots of news to catch up on since July...

    Welcome Matt Caulfield (new MAE PhD student), Shannon Donaldson (new MSE MS student), and Chris Recupero (undergrad researcher).  Congrats to Sarah Beth and Pádraigín for passing their PhD qualifier exams.  Best wishes to Lilly as she undertakes a 6 month visit at Universität Bayreuth.  And goodbye & best wishes to Kristyn as she heads off to a postdoc at ORNL.  We will miss you.


    Congratulations to Niquana on successful defense of her PhD proposal!

    July 08, 2023

    Niquana successfully defended her PhD proposal entitled "Design of Ultra High Temperature Ceramics for Oxidation Resistance."  Nice job!


    EXTREME workshop in Aachen Germany

    June 03, 2023

    Beth and group members Niquana, Clark, Connor, Lilly, Sarah Beth, Laura, and Catherine traveled to RWTH University, Aachen to participate in an EXTREME workshop, May 22-26.  Hands on learning about recycling of electronic waste materials.  We had a fabulous time.

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    Congratulations Graduates!

    May 28, 2023

    Congratulations to Drs. Coleman Tolliver and Kristyn Ardrey on their PhD graduation day - We are looking forward to the high impact work you will do "out in the real world!"  Congratulations also to Michael Richwine on his BS degree from the Aero Engineering Department.  Michael has been an undergraduate researcher in our lab since 2021.  Best wishes for your career at Rolls-Royce.

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    Congratulations Cameron

    May 28, 2023

    Congratulations to Cameron on the successful defense of his PhD proposal entitled "High Entropy Rare-Earth Monosilicate Interactions with Calcium Magnesium Aluminosilicate."  Great job!  We are looking forward to all the great research you will perform on the way to your PhD.


    Kristyn defends her PhD dissertation

    May 28, 2023

    Congratulations to Kristyn on the successful defense of her PhD dissertation entitled "Thermochemical Degradation of Rare Earth-Based Environmental Barrier Coatings."  Awesome job!


    Coleman defends his PhD thesis

    May 28, 2023

    Congratulations to Coleman for the successful defense of his PhD thesis entitled "Exploring the aqueous dissolution precipitation mechanism of Ca-Si-Na-O containing reactants to form crystalline calcium silicate hydrates in carbonated environments."  Great work!


    VSGC Awards for Morgan, Pádraigín, Connor

    May 28, 2023

    Congratulations to Morgan, Pádraigín, and Connor on your Virginia Space Grant Consortium Fellowships!  Morgan received an undergraduate award for her proposed work studying high temperature properties of protective complex oxides, Pádraigín received a graduate award for her proposed work on rare earth phosphate-based environmental barrrier coatings, and Connor's graduate fellowship was renewed for a second year.  Connor studies high temperature oxidation of refractory metals and carbides in molecular and dissociated oxygen.   We look forward to your cutting edge research results.


    Congratulations to Clark

    April 08, 2023

    Congrats to Clark on his recent successful PhD Proposal Defense.  Clark's dissertation topic is "Understanding CMAS Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategies."  We look forward to the great results you will be getting in the next year as you complete your PhD research.