Research projects

Some of the most “extreme” research on campus is being done in the materials science and engineering department, where faculty and students conduct $2.8 million in annual research:

  • Greg Hilmas and Bill Fahrenholtz, Curators’ Professors of ceramic engineering, lead the university’s Enabling Materials for Extreme Environments signature research area, which addresses national needs related to clean energy production, hypersonic flight vehicles and advanced propulsion systems. They have collaborated for over 10 years on ultra-high-temperature structural ceramics for aerospace applications, receiving numerous awards and accolades.
  • Mohamed Rahaman, professor of ceramic engineering, is lead researcher on a team that recently developed a type of glass implant that could one day repair injured bones in the arms, legs and other areas of the body that are most subject to the stresses of weight.
  • Delbert Day, Curator’s Professor emeritus of ceramic engineering, played a pivotal role in developing radioactive glass microspheres that are being used at more than 100 sites around the world to treat patients with inoperable liver cancer. Due in large part to Day’s efforts, the life expectancy of patients treated in this way has been increased significantly, from weeks to years. Day was named the 2010 Phoenix Award Glass Person of the Year, the glass industry’s top honor.