Brown University School of Engineering

Materials Research

Brown University’s Materials Science program provides a framework for the discovery and exploitation of the new materials that will enable the transformative technologies that are required to meet current critical challenges in areas such as energy, infrastructure, and security.  Materials science andengineering is concerned with the development of materials with new properties and improved performance through an understanding of the relationships between processing, the atomic-scale mechanisms that build specific microstructures, and how these new and modified materials achieve specific performance goals. In short, materials science dictates the pace of innovation.

The materials research program at Brown is vibrant with faculty in the materials group contributing to, or leading, programs in mechanical behavior of materials, electronic materials and processing, bio-materials and more. State-of-the-art facilities in materials processing and characterization combined with a highly collaborative research culture are among the strengths of our materials research group.


  • Clyde Briant - mechanical properties of materials, grain boundaries.
  • Eric Chason - thin films and surfaces, stress, ion-induced nano-patterning.
  • Robert Hurt - carbon materials, graphene-based technologies, nanomaterial interactions with environmental and biological systems. 
  • Angus Kingon - electronic thin film materials and devices (MEMS) (also responsible for PRIME/entrepreneurship).
  • Sharvan Kumar - deformation and fracture, mechanical properties.
  • Nitin Padture - advanced ceramics, composites, and coatings; nanomaterials; synthesis/processing; characterization; mechanical behavior; thermal, optical, and electronic properties.
  • David C. Paine - electronic materials (amorphous oxide semiconductors), electron microscopy, thin film processing via physical vapor deposition.
  • Tayhas Palmore - conducting polymers, organic batteries, bio-fuel cells.
  • Brian Sheldon - ceramics (chemistry/mechanics), Li-ion batteries, stress.
  • Anita Shukla - biomaterials, self-assembly, drug delivery, regenerative medicine.
  • Anubhav Tripathi - understanding complex biomaterials using microfluidics, proteomics, high throughput screening, rheology of complex fluids and lab on a chip applications.
  • Axel van de Walle - computational materials science, first principles calculations, thermodynamics, energy materials.
  • Ian Y. Wong - biomaterials, nanofabrication, 3D printing, directed self-assembly, polymer physics.