Spring 2019 Letter from Department Chair

Michele V. Manuel, Ph.D.
Michele V. Manuel, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering

It is already proving to be another extraordinary year for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).

U.S. News & World Report recognized the UF MSE graduate program as the No. 8 best among public universities for 2020, climbing two spots from its previous No. 10 position. The Nuclear Engineering graduate program also ranks among the best public nuclear graduate programs at No. 14.

The MSE faculty continue to shine, with the U.S. Department of Education awarding Nancy Ruzycki, Ph.D. a $5 million “Supporting Effective Educator Development” (SEED) grant to address both the training deficit and shortage of teachers in Florida using sensors & probes to collect and analyze data to build better STEM classroom practices. Among other goals, the program also aims to train K-9 teachers in ‘system thinking’ and developing lesson plans for using technical instruments in the same way as practicing scientists and engineers. The study will also address the issue of how STEM learning affects Florida’s technology work force.

The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency recognized Kyle Hartig, Ph.D. with a Young Investigator Award for his work on radio frequency waves emanating from nuclear detonations, and the National Science Foundation is funding Jennifer Andrew, Ph.D.’s research on using nanowires to create sensors that generate their own electricity.

UF MSE students beat out over 30 teams from around the world to bring home the TMS Wadsworth-Sherby Bladesmithing Grand Prize with their entry dubbed “Decapigator” at the TMS 2019 Annual Meeting and Exhibition, held this year in San Antonio, Texas.

In addition to marking its 60th anniversary, the Department also welcomed three new faculty hires so far this year, with more to come in the Fall. As always, with each new addition to the MSE team, be it faculty or staff, the department as whole continues to share its singular vision of keeping UF’s Materials Science & Engineering and the Nuclear Engineering Program among the best in the country.

Go Gators!

Michele V. Manuel, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering