Materials for Extreme Environments

The creation of ceramics and composites to withstand extreme environments is crucial for various applications, from concentrated solar power to hypersonic flight and nuclear fusion. These environments impose stresses beyond the capabilities of current materials, resulting in the need for the development of new materials and combinations to meet these criteria. For instance, hypersonic flight requires materials that can operate at temperatures above 2000°C, requiring creative ways of producing and developing such materials.

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Interested in discussing the research we are working on or learning more? Please contact:

William Fahrenholtz

Curators' Distinguished Professor

Research Interests

Ultra-high temperature ceramics, traditional ceramic processing, solution and colloidal sol-gel processing of bulk and thin-film ceramics, reactive processing, ceramic-metal composites by reactive metal penetration and reactive hot pressing, reactions at ceramic-metal interfaces, wetting of ceramics, low p(oxygen) atmospheres, thermodynamics.

Gregory Hilmas

Curators' Distinguished Professor

Research Interests

Processing-microstructure-mechanical property relationships in ultra-high temperature ceramics, in particular transition metal carbides, nitrides and diborides, novel processing techniques for the fabrication of fibrous monolithic ceramics, multilayered ceramics, hierarchically structured ceramics, and ceramic composites.

David Lipke

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Materials compatibility in extreme environments (e.g., high temperatures and reactive atmospheres), microstructure development via high temperature gas-solid and liquid-solid interactions, and applications of reaction processing for composite materials synthesis.

Jeremy Watts

Associate Research Professor

Research Interests

Ultra-high temperature ceramics, microstructure-property relationships in ultra-high temperature and structural ceramics, manipulation of microstructures and properties through novel processing techniques, ceramic matrix composites, reactive processing.

Haiming Wen

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Development and fabrication of advanced materials such as bulk nanostructured alloys, high entropy alloys and bulk metallic glasses; Microstructure characterization of materials using transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography; Mechanical behavior and deformation mechanisms of materials; Nuclear fuels and structural materials designed for current and next generation nuclear reactors.

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