Structural materials — they’re everywhere!
From the blades of the gas turbine engine propelling you across the country (and probably providing some of the electricity you use everyday), to the tiny devices that deploy your airbags, project your powerpoint slides and reorient the screen on your smartphone when you turn it — the mechanical integrity of the materials that make up these devices is crucial to their durability and performance. Our group is interested in the relationships between mechanical properties and microstructure across a variety of length scales and time frames. In many important applications, how the properties change over the lifetime of a component are closely linked to phase and microstructural evolution. Studying this process requires some traditional characterization techniques like transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, but also involves novel approaches such as micro-mechanical tensile tests or elevated temperature microscopy.