From the Desk of Dr. Sinnott

Susan SinnottDr. Susan Sinnott

Department Head and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE)

Dear Friends and Alumni of MatSE,

I am pleased to say that the 2015-16 academic year is off to a fantastic start. Our undergraduate enrollment is at an all-time high of more than 290 students, while our graduate enrollment continues to increase and is currently more than 160 students. I am proud of the high quality of all of our students as evidenced by their awards and accomplishments.

Our faculty are dedicated to education and research. These efforts are closely intertwined, as when graduate and undergraduate students work together on a research project or a faculty member uses new discoveries or materials to illustrate concepts in class. One research area that has seen considerable growth in MatSE is additive manufacturing through the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D). This center has the ability to produce complex, 3D components composed completely out of metal alloys, polymers, or ceramics without any welds or joints. This exciting technology has the potential to revolutionize multiple industries, including medicine and manufacturing. Another area in which MatSE faculty are at the forefront of the field is the growth and investigation of two-dimensional materials that are only one or two atoms thick. These 2D materials are expected to be integral components in the next generation of electronic devices such as transistors and digital screens. This work is taking place in multidisciplinary centers on campus, such as the Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials and the Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC), a National Science Foundation funded Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC).

I am happy to report that several of our faculty received notable honors and awards this fall. Professor Long-Qing Chen was named a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and was also named the Hamer Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Professor Allison Beese received a 2015 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Professor Gary Messing received the 2015 W. David Kingery Award from the American Ceramic Society. Professor David Green was named a 2015 Distinguished Life Member of the American Ceramic Society. Professor Susan Trolier-McKinstry was elected vice president of the Materials Research Society, effective January 2016; she will be president of the Society in 2017.

I want to thank Professor Messing for his exceptional leadership as department head. Over the last 14 years he directed many important initiatives that led to a new streamlined undergraduate curriculum, growth of the department, and the complete renovation of the Steidle Building. The department is scheduled to move into our state-of-the-art research and education space in the new Steidle Building in the summer of 2016. This renovation has been paid in full from capital funds, and opportunities exist to name spaces such as laboratories, conference rooms, and offices. The funds raised will be used to purchase cutting edge equipment for the undergraduate and graduate laboratories in the building.

If you are interested in learning more do not hesitate to contact me at or 814-863-3117.

I look forward to building on the tradition of excellence in research, education, and leadership in the materials science and engineering profession that has been established at Penn State and ensure that MatSE achieves international preeminence in the field. I invite you to contribute to our advancement and success.

We are Penn State!