Dr. Douglas E. Wolfe is currently a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and the Metals, Ceramics and Coatings Processing Department Head for the Applied Research Laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Wolfe received his BS, MS and Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in 1994, 1996, and 2001, respectively. Dr. Wolfe has over 180 peer reviewed journal articles/technical memorandums/reports, 9 patents/patents pending, and is a member of several professional societies. Professor Wolfe is a recognized international expert in the field of materials science whose research activities include the synthesis, processing, and characterization of nano, multilayered, nanostructured, functionally graded, ceramic, and metallic coatings, materials and systems deposited by reactive and ion beam assisted, electron beam physical vapor deposition (EB-PVD), cold spray, thermal spray technologies, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), cathodic arc physical vapor deposition, sputtering (r.f, d.c., magnetron), plating (Ni, Cu, Pt), hybrid processes, and various other PVD processes. Present work includes the enhancement of coating microstructure and composition to enhance the sensitivity of ionizing radiation such as x-rays and to tailor and improve material properties such as optical materials and coatings, hypersonics, metamaterials, thermal barrier coatings (TBC), erosion resistant coatings, wear resistant, corrosion resistant, diamond like carbon, transition metal nitrides, carbides, and borides, and transition and rare-earth metal oxides for a variety of applications in the aerospace, nuclear, tooling, power, oil and gas, biomedical, and defense industries. Professor Wolfe’s primary area of expertise includes structure-processing-property-performance relationships and the development and processing of monolithic, nanocomposite, nanolayered, and multilayer coatings, nano-grained structural materials, as well as materials characterization using a variety of materials analytical techniques. Professor Wolfe’s research focuses on applied research with an emphasis of implementation, transitioning and commercialization and have resulted in over $300,000,000 in documented savings for Department of Defense (DoD). Dr. Wolfe has been PI or Co-PI on >150 programs at a total funding of over $90,000,000.
Professor Wolfe will be leading a collaborative frontier research team that will be the focus of a nine-year, $54 million potential cooperative agreement from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) new Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter University Research Alliance program (IIRM-URA). It is a multidisciplinary, multi-organization team led by The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). The overall project consists of three phases, beginning with a five-year research phase. Under this agreement, Penn State will create a cooperation-based framework fostering a matrixed environment where leading research scientists and engineers from across the United States and Europe work together to create advances in interactions of ionizing radiation with materials. Working towards these goals will address DTRA’s mission to identify, adopt, and develop revolutionary breakthroughs that will counter the nuclear and radiological threats of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Penn State will lead a team of twelve nationally recognized universities and ten partner institutions, national laboratories, and industrial companies. The goal of the IIRM-URA partnership is to conduct fundamental basic and applied research in order to identify, adopt, and develop revolutionary scientific breakthroughs that will reduce, eliminate or counter nuclear and radiological threats of WMD.
This faculty member is associated with the Penn State Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) in Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) where a multitude of perspectives and cross-disciplinary collaboration within research is highly valued. Graduate students in the IGDP in MatSE may work with faculty members from across Penn State.
- Synthesis, processing, and characterization of thin film coatings
- Monolithic, multilayer, and functional graded ceramic-metallic coatings
- Advanced high temperature coatings
- Wear resistant materials and coatings
- Corrosion resistance coating materials
- Residual stress/strain
- Material microstructure-property relationships
- Materials evaluation/characterization
- Interactions of ionizing radiation with materials
- Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC)
Recent Synergistic Activities
- 2020 Global Star Award, American Ceramics Society, International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites
- 2017 United States Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award.
- Lead Co Organizer of the 40-45 (and Co-Organizer of the 36-39) International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC), Daytona Beach 2012-2020. Session chair for 35-44 ICACC (Daytona Beach 2011-2020),
- Member of American Ceramics Society (ACS) & Institute Ceramic Engineers (ACERS)
- Government Security Clearance: SECRET
- NASA Glenn Research Center Distinguished Publication Award
- Mentor and Research Advisor for over 100 undergraduate research students (multiple years) within the last few years whose majors spanned nine (9) different departments and include materials science and engineering (MATSE), nuclear engineering (NE), mechanical engineering (ME), electrical engineering (EE), engineering science and mechanics (ESM), aerospace engineering (AE), chemical engineering (ChemE), and computer science and engineering (CSE), and Physics demonstrating Professor Wolfe’s preparedness for educating our next generation scientists and engineers while fostering truly interdisciplinary interactions, communications, and research.