Opila Group News

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


    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!


    Welcome Charlotte and Connor!

    August 03, 2020

    A warm welcome to Charlotte and Connor as they join the group and the Department of Materials Science at UVA.   They will be exploring the oxidation of refractory metals and carbides for their PhD research.  We look forward to getting to know them.


    So many congratulations!

    June 14, 2020

    As we completed a very challenging term, we have many accomplishments to celebrate.

    First, congratulations to our graduates Lavina and Cory, with PhDs in MSE and Nathaniel with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  Best wishes to all as they move on to the next phase of their careers.

    Congratulations to our award winners:  Lavina Backman co-recipient of the Doris Kuhlman-Wilsdorf Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Marcus Dozier winner of the Chip Blankenship undergraduate award for research.

    Congratulations to Mackenzie Ridley and Katie Detwiler for their successful defenses of their PhD proposals.  They are ready to get back in the lab and do some great CMC and EBC research.

    Finally, we would like to congratulate Dom Pinnisi and Marcus Dozier on their summer internship opportunities.  We look forward to hearing about your summer activities when you return in the Fall.


    Group meeting the Zoom way!

    May 04, 2020

    The good thing about group meeting with Zoom is that we can all see each other in times of COVID-19.  The better thing is our pets can attend too!GroupmeetingPetsEdition.jpg


    Congratulations Mackenzie, Eric, Dom

    May 04, 2020

    Mackenzie, Eric, and Dom were all awarded 2020-2021 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Fellowship Awards to support their research.  Congrats!