Opila Group News

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


    New Article Published in Journal of Materials Science

    January 06, 2020

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    Replacement of the melt-infiltrated (MI) silicon with a rare-earth silicide offers the potential to address both limitations of SMI CMCs. This study focuses on the ability of yttrium silicides to form yttrium silicates (phases with greater stability in high-temperature water vapor than SiO2) in high-temperature oxidizing environments. Read More...



    Katie Detwiler named DoD SMART Scholar

    April 17, 2019

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    Katie Detwiler

    Katie Detwiler, a Materials Science & Engineering Ph.D. Student, is a 2019 recipient of the prestigious SMART Scholarship, a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to develop and retain talented, innovative and brilliant scientists, engineers and researchers.  Katie, a member of the Beth Opila’s group at UVA, is researching oxidation behavior of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for use in high-temperature jet engine applications.  She previously studied the effects of residual stresses on mechanical properties in CMCs for her Master’s Thesis, which she completed as a Pathways Intern at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), near Dayton, Ohio.

    Now, as a SMART Scholar, Katie will continue to intern over the summers at AFRL for the remainder of her Ph.D. studies.  After her graduation, Katie will be brought on as a civilian employee at AFRL.  Wright-Patterson holds a special place in Katie’s life as her grandfather has worked there for close to 50 years. “I’ve interned at AFRL before and, in fact, it was what led me into materials science,” explained Katie. “I’m excited to support the Air Force’s mission to protect our country and it’s a great motivator to see real life applications of my research.” Congratulations, Katie!