Opila Group News

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


    Spring 2022 congratulations

    May 28, 2022

    Congratulations to all group members for their many successes this spring term.  Best wishes to Katie as she moves on to AFRL after graduating with her PhD.  Congratulations to Rachel McNamara for graduating with her BS in MSE and her well-deserved 2022 SEAS Outstanding Student Award.  We are pleased we will see her as a UVA grad student in Prof. Ji Ma's group.  Congrats also to Connor for his VSGC grad fellowship and Eric for passing his PhD qualifier exam.  Congratulations to Alex, Morgan, and Jack for their summer internships.  We look forward to hearing about your experiences this fall.


    Fall 2021 Congratulations

    December 12, 2021

    It's been a successful term.  We would like to congratulate Clark, Cameron, Coleman, and Niquana for passing their PhD qualifier exams and Kristyn for her successful PhD dissertation proposal .  We also wish Mackenzie every success as he moves on from his postdoc at UVA to his new position at ORNL.  Congratulations to Alex for her 2nd place award in the undergraduate category for the Dean's First Annual Research Art Contest.  Finally we welcome Morgan to our group as a new undergraduate researcher.


    A warm welcome to Michael, Alex, Jack, and Lilly

    August 21, 2021

    We are thrilled to welcome new members to our research group.  Undergraduates Michael Richwine, Alex Uy, and Jack Carroll joined the group this summer.  They all came up to speed so quickly and have already made significant contributions to our understanding of UHTC oxidation (Michael), CMAS attack of Yb silicates (Alex), and low temperature oxidation of CMCs (Jack).  We also welcome new graduate student Lilly Balderson who comes to us with a BS degree in chemistry from VCU.  She will be co-advised with Professor Tao Sun and researching additive manufacturing of ceramics. Welcome all!



    Celebrating Group Accomplishments

    June 17, 2021

    We have just finished another year of great accomplishments by group members.

    Congratulations to KJ Meisner and Rachel Guarriello on defending their PhD dissertations.  Also congratulations to Dom Pinnisi and Marcus Dozier as they graduate from our research group with their BS degrees (both have double majors!).  We wish all four of you well as you move on to the next stage of your careers.

    We would like to congratulate Rachel McNamara on receiving the 2021 Belinda and Chip Blankenship Scholarship Award.  This award recognizes outstanding undergraduate students and aims to encourage students to pursue graduate-level studies in materials science and engineering.  We also congratulate Rachel Guarriello for receiving the Fred D. Rosi Outstanding Citizen Award that recognizes an MSE graduate student for overall citizenship and contributions to the academic, educational, and outreach goals of the department and for exemplary teamwork.


    Congratulations Mackenzie!

    April 11, 2021

    Congratulations to Mackenzie for the successful defense of his dissertation entitled:  "Fundamental Degradation Mechanisms and Materials Optimization of Environmental Barrier Coatings."  Awesome job!  Thanks for staying around for a post doc.YbDS YbMS.png


    Best Wishes Bekah

    January 14, 2021

    Best wishes to Bekah as she moves on from her postdoc position.  Congratulations on all your accomplishments as a grad student and post doc.  We look forward to hearing about your  successes in future positions.


    Congratulations Kristyn

    December 28, 2020

    Congratulations to Kristyn on passing her PhD qualifier exam. Have fun focusing on your research!



    Congratulations to Lucas

    August 10, 2020

    Congratulations to Dr. Lucas Herweyer on the successful defense of his PhD dissertation entitled "High Temperature Na2SO4 Interactions with Yb2Si2O7 EBC Systems and SiC CMC Materials."  Best wishes for your future career!