GRA positions

A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. Appointment as a Graduate Research Associate (GRA) contributes to that objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support. This apprenticeship complements formal instruction and gives the student practical, personal experience that can be gained only by performing research activities.

GRA positions provide a number of benefits to the student:

  • Full payment of tuition and academic fees,
  • A monthly stipend typically provided on a 12 month cycle,
  • 85% payment of OSU Student Health Insurance premiums for the student,
  • Payment of computer technology fee as well as laboratory fees,
  • Payment of research-related expenses,
  • Travel costs for conference and research-related expenses may also be provided,
  • Total value of this package can be over $70,000 per year.
  • Further information about GRA appointments and benefits.

[Students are responsible for 15% of health insurance premiums as well as student-related fees. These fees total roughly $120 per month. This amount is payroll-deducted per monthly pay over the course of a four-month semester so that the student does not need to pay a large up-front fee each term.]

In exchange for these benefits the student serves on a research project available in the program. As part of the GRA agreement, the student agrees to assist his/her advisor with research work. This commitment comes to, on average, approximately 20 hours per week, though this may vary from time to time. The research project Principal Investigator will serve as the student's academic and research advisor. More about finding an advisor, below.

Please note: Since research carried out for a government and/or industrial organization is usually focused on a topic of concern to the funding source, we cannot guarantee that a student's area of interest will always match the available GRA positions for a given term.

The GRA position is our primary form of financial aid [more about financial aid in the MSE-WE department].

Current GRA openings

Due to the on-going nature of funding, new openings for Autumn (August) 2020 semester will soon be posted below. We anticipate 15-25 funded openings for the Fall in areas such as:

  • additive manufacturing
  • nanotechnology
  • electronic, optical, and magnetic materials
  • biomaterials
  • joining/welding technology
  • environmental and energy storage materials
  • emergent materials
  • advanced characterization
  • computational materials research
  • corrosion studies and corrosion prevention
  • membranes for chemical technology
  • sensor technology
  • materials manufacture
  • composites
  • processing and structure-property relationships in structural materials

Last update: 5/7/20--GRA-funded projects will be posted here as they continue to be available.


photo of Sheikh Akbar Ohio State Professor

Sheikh Akbar

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-6725 | Office: 295 Watts Hall

  • Professor, (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1985); Synthesis-microstructure-property relations of ceramic bulk, thin-film and nanostructures for electrochemical devices such as sensors and biomedical applications

1 MS (US citizen), funding confirmed
2 PhD (with Dr. Patricia Morris), any citizenship, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

  1. Fundamental studies of gas-solid interaction on nano-hetero-structure oxide surfaces (1 PhD student)
  2. Laser-solid interaction on nano-hetero-structure oxide surfaces (1 PhD student)
  3. High-temperature (>1200 C) catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (1 MS student; US citizen only)

Please contact Dr. Akbar for details on these projects.

Sheikh Akbar & Enam Chowdhury (joint project)

Sheikh Akbar: web & email | Phone: 614-292-6725 | Office: 295 Watts Hall

  • Professor, (Ph.D., Purdue University, 1985); Synthesis-microstructure-property relations of ceramic bulk, thin-film and nanostructures for electrochemical devices such as sensors and biomedical applications

Enam Chowdhury: web & email | Phone: 614-292-4286

  • Assistant Professor, (Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2004); Laser materials processing; Ultrafast laser; Laser damage and ablation; Laser plasma particle acceleration; High and ultra-high intensity laser technology; Warm dense matter; Laser surface engineering

Please contact Drs. Akbar and Chowdhury for details on their joint research project.


Boian Alexandrov

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-1735 | Office: 128 Edison Joining Technology Center

Research Associate Professor (Ph.D. Technical University of Sofia, 2001); physical/welding metallurgy of structural alloys; weldability evaluation; modeling of weld phenomena; weld failure analysis; advanced welding processes, additive manufacturing.

1 position--FILLED

"Thermal Shock and Thermal Fatigue Failure Mechanisms in High Temperature Corrosion Resistant Alloys" [Please contact Dr. Alexandrov for details on the project.]

Background: US Citizenship is a preference, could be a permanent resident. BS or MS in Materials Engineering or Welding Engineering 

-->Peter Anderson

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-0176 | Office: 492 Watts Hall

  • Professor (Ph.D., Harvard University, 1986); Mechanical properties and underlying physics of deformation, with applications to metals, shape memory alloys, nanostructured materials, and tissue scaffolds. Computational methods for mechanical behavior.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed--"Fundamental investigations of shape memory alloys for high temperature applications"
This project will involve computational modeling/simulations to understand how the properties of new high temperature shape memory alloys are derived from a microstructure that involves nanoscale precipitates and a defect structure that is "trained" into the material. The project involves a close collaboration with experimental studies in microscopy and offers the opportunity to work on experiments in mechanical testing to support the computational modeling. 
Background: open to various science/engineering backgrounds; available for US citizens or international students

-->Rudy Buchheit

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-688-3050 | Office: 177 Watts Hall

  • Professor (Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1991); Aqueous corrosion, coatings, Fontana Corrosion Center (FCC).

-->Glenn Daehn

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-6779 | Office: 347 Fontana Labs

  • Fontana Chair of Metallurgical Engineering, Professor (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1987); Mechanical behavior of composites, high-temperature deformation, high velocity metal forming, superplasticity, and hyperplasticity

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed--Please contact Dr. Daehn for details on this project.




Vicky Doan-Nguyen

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3465 | Office: 100 CEMAS

Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 2015); Electrochemical energy storage Battery components; Sustainability; Advanced electron microscopy and X-ray scattering characterization techniques; Synthesis, characterization, and functional testing of novel materials for electrochemical energy storage applications and heterogeneous catalysis. [more about Dr. Doan-Nguyen's research]


4/28/20--Dr. Doan-Nguyen's GRA slots below have been filled.

1 PhD position, MSE, funding confirmed

Nanomaterials for next generation high-energy density battery cathodes 
This project involves the design, synthesis, characterization, and electrochemical testing of nanomaterials for next generation high-energy density battery cathodes. The student will develop technical and scientific expertise in all aspects of battery materials design. The project has an industry partner, and thus, the student will also have the opportunity to lead industry-university type partnership. 

1 PhD position, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Design of quantum materials 
This project involves the synthesis and characterization of materials with exotic quantum states. The student will develop technical and scientific expertise in solid state synthesis, synchrotron-based and neutron scattering-based structural characterization, electron microscopy, and automated materials screening for developing new materials with exotic quantum properties. 

1 PhD position, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Operando characterization of nanoparticle catalysts 
This project involves designing and executing operando characterization of metal oxide nanoparticle catalysts for heterogeneous catalysis. The student will develop technical and scientific expertise in nanomaterials synthesis and advanced characterization with synchrotron and neutron scattering. The student will be a part of a larger project and will interface with catalysis engineers, and thus, there will opportunities for developing technical and scientific expertise in heterogeneous catalysis and renewable energy applications. 


Photo of Professor Carolin Fink

Carolin Fink

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-7823 | Office: 132 EJTC

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany); Research interests include weld cracking and materials degradation phenomena, in particular elevated temperature cracking and liquid metal embrittlement, welding metallurgy and weldability of nickel-base alloys, welding of dissimilar materials and weldability testing. 

1-2 PhD positions, WE or MSE, funding confirmed

Please contact Dr. Fink for details regading these openings.




Gerald Frankel

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-688-4128 | Office: 544 MacQuigg Labs

  • Director, Fontana Corrosion Center (FCC) and Professor (Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985); corrosion, electrochemistry and embrittlement.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed (new 4/19/19)

Field of corrosion, please contact Dr. Frankel for project details


Dave F. Farson

Contact: web and email | Phone: 614-688-4046 | Office:  116 Edison Joining Technology Center

  • Associate Professor (PhD, Ohio State University, 1987); Laser materials processing, computational process modeling

-->Maryam Ghazisaeidi

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-8474 | Office: 489 Watts Hall

Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2011); Computational materials science, materials structure, first-principles calculations, and atomic-scale investigation of deformation mechanisms. Studies the field of computational Materials Science at the atomic-scale with an emphasis on understanding structure and chemistry of defects in structural materials to predict novel material behavior.

  • [NEW] 1 - 2 PhD positions (funding confirmed) in the area of computational materials science to understand the effects of alloying on Mg deformation mechanisms using first-principles techniques.




Perena Gouma

Contact: web & email | Office: 284 Watts Hall

  • Professor, Orton Chair

1 PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed--Topic: Advanced Materials

Keywords: Nanotechnology, sensors, photocatalysis, processing, combustion synthesis

Background: good team player, ambitious, reliable 


Tyler Grassman

Tyler Grassman

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-688-1704 | Office: 488 Watts Hall

  • Research Assistant Professor, dual standing in MSE and Electrical and Computer Engineering

2 PhD positions--These positions have been filled





Dennis Harwig

Contact: web and email | Phone: 614-292-6888 | Office: CDME, 1314 Kinnear Rd, Suite 1533

  • Materials & Manufacturing Center (PhD, Cranfield University, 2003); additive manufacturing, manufacturing processes, materials joining tecnology, robotic welding

FILLED--1 MS, WE or MSE, funding confirmed Rotating Electrode GMAW for Improved Aluminum Quality



Aluminum gas metal arc welding (GMAW) uses inert shielding gas to minimize oxidation of the weld pool and susceptibility to porosity. Current aluminum Navy requirements highly recommend the use of 100 percent helium or a helium – argon mixture for improved weld quality. Although 100 percent argon can be used; it has shown to result in porosity and lack of fusion issues particularly in thick section welds. The use of argon has also resulted in poor quality welds fabricated in shipboard and in shipyard production environments that are not highly controlled. Rotating electrode gas metal arc welding (RE-GMAW) is a variant of conventional GMAW that provides improved arc heat distribution, weld pool shape, and weld quality at lower costs. The process uses 100% argon shielding gas which is significantly less expensive than helium. Successful development and transition of RE-GMAW would result in improved weld quality and productivity as lower costs.

Objective: The objective of this work is to develop and qualify RE-GMAW for thick section aluminum. The specific goals of the work are to 1) Characterize the effects of RE-GMAW on weld quality 2) Optimize the welding parameters for range of thicknesses for structural butt weld applications 3) Evaluate representative qualifications to prove weld process and transition technology to shipyards.

Technical Approach: OSU will lead the welding parameter development and optimization. OSU will work with Austal to develop welding parameter relationships between the electrode size, current, spin diameter, frequency, and arc length will be evaluated for a range of weld bead sizes. Structural butt joints representative of LCS construction will be used for welding parameter optimization. Optimized welding parameters will be use to fabricate full penetration butt joints in the flat, horizontal, and vertical positions on at least one plate thicknesses for testing and evaluation. LIFT will provide radiographic testing support. NSWCCD will provide mechanical property and metallographic analysis support.




Jinwoo Hwang

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3459 | Office: 111 CEMAS

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Un of Wisconsin, 2011); Structure-property relationship in functional materials (oxide interfaces, semiconductors, solar cells); structure and deformation of disordered materials.

FILLED--1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Title: Atomic scale Debye-Waller thermometry of Thermal Interface Resistance at Oxide Interfaces

Description: The student will investigate the atomic scale structure and thermal properties of oxide interfaces using quantitative scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and verify existing theories on thermal conduction at the interfaces. The project involves oxide interfaces, thermal properties of interfaces, STEM, defect analysis, and computational simulation of STEM. Will also involve some phonon theory. Collaboration with DFT people and oxide growers. 

Joerg Jinschek

Joerg Jinschek

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3110 | Office: 100 CEMAS

  • Associate Professor (Ph.D., Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena/Germany, 2001); nanostructure characterization, structure-property relationships, atomic-scale electron microscopy, in-situ electron microscopy

FILLED--1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed (5/8/19)

Dr. Jinschek's general field of study--The development of better technologies for efficient use of our natural resources, for efficient energy conversion, for efficient transportation, for food production, for environmental protection, etc. relies heavily on advances in developing new and improved nanostructures and nanomaterials.

Characterization methods utilizing Scanning / Transmission Electron Microscopes (S/TEM) have become powerful and indispensable tools for nanomaterial characterization. S/TEM has the unique ability to image the size, shape, bulk/surface/interface structures of individual nanoobjects with atomic-scale resolution, and measure electronic properties as well as elemental distributions at these small length scales.

Current trends in S/TEM research focus on extending the atomic-scale characterization capabilities from static to dynamic/in-situ studies. In-situ characterization techniques enable visualization of structural evolution in functional nanomaterials under (near) operational or environmental conditions. These investigations offer essential insights related to questions about the structural integrity of nanostructures when ‘at work’ or ‘in use’. This is applied in a wide range of applications in fundamental and applied research focusing, e.g., on gas–solid interactions, such as oxidation, reduction, catalysis, nucleation, crystal growth, gas storage and filtering, corrosion and its prevention, just to name a few.


John Lannutti

John Lannutti

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-3926 | Office: 448 MacQuigg Labs

  • Professor (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1990); Biomaterials for cancer research. Bio-nanosensing for disease detection. Smart tissue engineering scaffolds.

2 MS or PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Topic: Biosensors for monitoring disease or injury

We seek to understand the behavior and sensing capabilities of injectable constructs both in vitro and in vivo in a collaborative project involving industry. This includes sensor fabrication, SEM analysis of microstructure versus exposure and working with large amounts of experimental data.

Background required: Excellent experimental and chemical skills and good writing capabilities a plus. Comfort in working with animals desired but not necessary. Prior experience with large datasets helpful. Good time management skills will be very helpful.

Jingua Li

Jinghua Li

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-9743 | Office: 491 Watts Hall

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Duke University, 2016); ultrathin silicon dioxide and hafnium dioxide layers; device design; carbon nanotube electronics and sensors for application in stretchable electronics; materials to address brain injury.

1 opening, funding confirmed for AU20, PhD applicant preferred, open to applicants in MSE or WE (SP20 opening has been filled)

Topic: Bridging the biotic/abiotic interface: wearable/implantable bioelectronics for advanced healthcare .

PhD positions are immediately available in Dr. Jinghua Li’s research group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. Interested areas include (1) skin-interfaced electronics, (2) flexible, high-resolution and long-lived neural interfaces, (3) soft semiconductors and thin-film materials. Our research is highly interdisciplinary combining mechanics, materials, electronics and biomedical science. Candidate with background in surface science, micro-/nano-fabrication and thin-film electronics are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Li for details (

Dr. Jinghua Li is an assistant professor in MSE at OSU starting from September 2019. Prior to joining OSU, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. John A. Rogers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. Dr. Li graduated from Duke University with a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2016. Dr. Li has two main thrust areas: 1) fundamental understandings on synthesis chemistry and interfacial properties of thin-film materials as bio-interfaces; and 2) engineering efforts on application of these materials for the next generation wearable/implantable biomedical devices to bridge the gap between rigid machine and soft biology.

Background required: Highly motivated students with backgrounds in materials synthesis, characterization and micro-fabrication



Xun Liu

Xun Liu

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-8915 | Office 118 EJTC

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Michigan); Advanced Manufacturing Processing, Solid State Joining of Dissimilar Materials, Forming, and Casting.

FILLED--2 PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed (4/22/19)--Study of microalloying elements on weld metal mechanical properties

This project will involve thermodynamic and kinetic analysis on the microstructure evolution during welding process, along with multi-scale material characterizations.



Photo of Assistant Professor Jenifer Locke

Jenifer Locke

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-5868 | Office 490 WA

  • Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Virginia); Corrosion and environmental fracture/cracking of metals and alloys, thermo-mechanical processing effects on corrosion and environmental cracking.

FILLED--4/6/20--1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Evaluating differences in corrosion fatigue resistance of Al alloys through crack tip pH measurements



Alan Luo

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-5629

  • Professor (Ph.D., University of Windsor, 1993); advanced metallic materials for transportation applications, manufacturing processes for light metals (Al, Mg, Ti), solidification, and integrated computational materials engineering.

1 PhD position, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Topic: Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) for Lightweight Materials and Manufacturing 

This project will look at three aspects of the modeling of lightweight materials and their production: 1) material design and development using computational tools (e.g., CALPHAD and kinetic modeling); 2) metals processing and simulation (e.g., casting/forming process modeling and microstructure modeling); and 3) structure-processing-property-performance and ICME.




David McComb

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3462 | Office: CEMAS Facility

  • Professor and Ohio Research Scholar (Ph.D. Cambridge University, 1990), Director, Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis; Electron microscopy & spectroscopy; electronic materials; magnetic materials; functional oxides; energy materials; biomaterials.

The McComb group is a highly-collaborative and multidisciplinary environment focused on the development and application of state-of-the-art electron microscopy methods to tackle major challenges in a wide range of materials. Currently we have projects in 2D materials, oxide materials for spintronics, magnetic materials, materials for energy, biomaterials and semiconducting materials. McComb Group projects are typically collaborative with advisors in other disciplines, with students often working in a team.

FILLED--1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

"Investigation of the Dentin-Enamel junction using Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM)"

The dentin–enamel junction (DEJ) is the zone between two distinct calcified tissues with very different biome-chanical properties. Generally, interfaces between materials with dissimilar mechanical properties represent “weak links” in a structure. However, the DEJ plays a critical role in enhancing biomechanical integrity and resistance to fracture. The DEJ is not well characterized microstructurally. In a collaboration with Prof Bartlett (College of Dentistry) you will investigate the structure-property correlate in the DEJ as influence by genomic modifications to determine hoe the properties of this unique interface arise and are modified.

Background: Interest in characterization and biomaterials



Michael Mills

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-643-3463 | Office: CEMAS

  • Professor; fields of study: Electron optics, Charaterization of advanced materials, Mechanical properties and deformation, Metallurgy.

1 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Topic: Compositionally complex alloys/superalloys--Developing new alloys for extreme properties guided by computation. Please contact Dr. Mills for more about this project.

-->Patricia Morris

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-8873 | Office: 298 Watts Hall 

  • Professor (Ph.D., Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., 1986); Optimization of materials properties by processing to obtain unique defect, surface, nano and micro- structures; development of new materials and devices.

1 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed--"Water Purification by Heterogeneous Photocatalysis using Nano-Heterostructured Oxides"--please contact Dr. Morris for more about this project.




Roberto Myers

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-8439 | Office: 476 Watts Hall | Myers Group

  • Professor, (Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara, 2006); Electronic materials, optical materials, wide bandgap semiconductors.

1 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Topic: Thermal spintronics and magonics 

We are motivated by possible new applications in spin-based electronics and the recovery of heat energy for powering spin-devices. Magnetic materials are being developed within our group and with a greater collaboration through the NSF-MRSEC at OSU to generate new phases of matter where spins and magnons exhibit long lifetimes and can travel long distances sufficient to consider their use in quantum information technology. We use focused laser excitation to generate localized heating and map out spin and magnon diffusion in these new materials using optical and electronic probes of spin transport. 

New 4/30/20--2 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Topic: Semiconductor-on-Metallic-Alloys (SOMAs) 

The objective of this project is to advance the fundamental understanding of epitaxial growth of III-Nitride nanowires on metallic substrates in order to enable flexible and reconfigurable optoelectronics. Control of the self-assembly of active nanostructures will be developed using plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) combined with metallic alloy microstructure engineering and characterization.

The three technical goals are to:

  • Control nanowire self-assembly and geometry by lattice-matching to metallic alloys
  • Guide self-assembly of hierarchical nanowire ensembles using self-patterned substrates
  • Mechanically reconfigure/tune optoelectronic properties of nanowire ensembles 

Background: Electronic materials, semiconductors, quantum mechanics 

photo of Steven Niezgoda OSU faculty

Stephen Niezgoda

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-7294 | Office: 5058 Smith Lab

Assistant Professor (Ph.D., Drexel University, 2000); crystal plasticity, techniques in experimental and simulation co-design, computational material design tools, materials data sciences, structural materials, materials processing, and mechanics of materials.

  • 1-2 PhD positions, MSE or WE, funding confirmed

Topics: Machine Learning for Material Microstructure | Computational modeling of Creep in Superalloys

Need a student for 2 projects. The first involves the development and application of machine learning algorithms for the generation of synthetic material structures and the solution f other microscopy challenges (e.g. sementation, denoising etc). The second project is more of a "traditional" materials modeling project, which involves the simulation of creep in Ni-based superalloys. The project involves developing new models based on observations from experiments and atomistic simulation and implementing them in finite element scale solvers.

Required background:
Good math skills, and an interest (but not necessarily extensive experience) in programing. 




photo of Heather Powell

Heather Powell

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-8673 | Office: 243C Fontana Labs

Associate Professor (Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2004); Biomaterials, tissue engineering, wound healing, biomechanics.

1-3 PhD positions, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

  • Laser treatment of burn scars
    Examining effect of laser processing on tissue regeneration 
  • Biomaterial-Guided Composite Tissue Regeneration
    Developing materials and systems to induce bone regeneration for limb salvage 
  • Mechanomudolation of fibrosis
    Developing materials and systems to control mechanical environment in the body and guide the healing process. 




Siddharth Rajan

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-7922 | Office: 205 Dreese Labs

Associate Professor (Ph.D., Un of California, Santa Barbara, 2006); Electronic materials

FILLED--1 MS or PhD position, MSE, funding confirmed

Title: "Wide band gap semiconductor materials and devices" Research on wide and ultra-wide band gap semiconductors for high performance devices. 



Antonio Ramirez

Contact: web and email | Phone: 614-292-8662 | Office: 130 Edison Joining Technology Center

  • Professor (Ph.D., Un of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2011); Welded/joined metallic materials; arc welding processes; solid state processes; friction stir welding; additive manufacturing.

1 PhD position, WE, funding confirmed--Please contact Dr. Ramirez for details on this project.




Eric Schindelholz

Contact: web, email, & phone

Associate Professor (Ph.D., Un of California, Santa Barbara, 2006); Electronic materials

NEW 4/16/20-- 2  PhD positions, MSE, funding confirmed:

  • Corrosion of Additively Manufactured Structural Alloys--This program examines how powder-based laser fusion additive processing impacts the microstructure and corrosion performance of structural alloys. 
  • Atmospheric Corrosion Mechanisms--This program will seek to elucidate atmospheric corrosion damage mechanisms by examining the interplay between the chemistry of microscopic electrolyte volumes on atmospherically exposed surfaces, the electrochemical processes driving corrosion and material microstructure. 

Background: undergrad major in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics or materials science 

photo of Michael Sumption Ohio State

Michael Sumption

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-688-3684 | Office: 394 Watts Hall

Professor (Ph.D., Ohio University, 1992); Assistant Director, Center for Applied Superconductivity and Magnetism (CSMM); Superconductivity.

2 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed--These positions have been filled.



Chris Taylor

Contact: web & email

  • Research Associate Professor

FILLED--1 PhD position, funding confirmed--"Atomistic Modeling of Corrosion and Oxidation of Metals"

-->The research topic involves the simulation using atomistic modeling of the reactions of metal and alloy surfaces with gases in an automobile combustion environment.

Background Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science and Engineering background. Good at math and computer programming desirable.





Yunzhi Wang

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-292-0682 | Office: 5064 Smith Labs

  • Professor (Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995); Phase transformation, plastic deformation, and microstructure – property relationship in structural (Ni-base superalloys and light alloys (Ti, Al, Mg), bulk metallic glass, etc.) and functional (shape memory alloys, ferroelectrics and ferromagnetics) materials.

FILLED--1 PhD position, MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Developing highly efficient simulation tools for microstructural evolution during thermomechanical processing in multi-component alloys. Project will involve working with a materials software company to develop highly efficient full-field microstructure simulation tools for industrial applications.

Desired background: Materials Science, Physics, Metallurgy, Numerical and computational skills 

FILLED--1 PhD position, MSE, funding confirmed

ICME Study of Correlation between Deformation and Precipitation in Structural Aluminum Alloys

Precipitation hardening is the main strengthening mechanism in structural Al-alloys. It is shown experimentally that size and spatial distribution of precipitates are quite different between samples with and without pre-deformation. Because of the intimate coupling between microstructure and property in Al-alloys, there are ample opportunities to utilize pre-deformation to control precipitate microstructure for unprecedented properties. ICME approach has been proven efficient and powerful for such study. In this proposal, multi-scale phase-field models incorporating ab initio and Calphad data, and integrated with FFT-CP will be adopted to study precipitate-dislocation interactions during both precipitation and deformation, establishing a robust processing-microstructure-property relationship.





Wolfgang Windl

Contact: web & email | Phone: 614-247-6900 

Professor (D.Sc., University of Regensburg, 1995); Computational Materials Science, Multiscale Modeling, Semiconductor Process Simulation

2 PhD, MSE, funding not yet confirmed

Two topics: "2D Materials / Layered Materials with Unusual Functional Properties" and "Surface Processes: Corrosion and Field Emission"

These projects involve atomistic modeling, mostly based on first-principles density-functional theory, to find new materials with superior properties. On the 2D/layered material side, we look for novel electronic properties (e.g. super-fast electron transport), goniopolar transport (electrons that can turn into holes, or in-between charge transport, depending on the conduction direction), and 2D magnetism. On the surface side, we try to understand the physics happening in characterization methods such as atom probe tomography, and to understand what makes a material corrosion resistant and how to design systems with superior corrosion resistant. All projects involve strong collaborations with experimental groups. 

Required background: Strong interest in computational materials science and high-performance computing. 




Wei Zhang

Contact: web and email | Phone: 614-292-0522 | Office: 120 Edison Joining Technology Center

  • Professor (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2004); Additive manufacturing of metals (powder bed and blown-powder), Light-metal and dissimilar-metal joining for transportation (automotive, shipbuilding etc.), Creep-resistance steels and alloys for power generation, and Modeling of welding and additive manufacturing processes and materials.

1 MS or PhD position, WE or MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Distortion during additive manufacturing of aluminum alloy 
Developing and applying computational mechanics model to study distortion during additive manufacturing of aluminum alloy 




Hongping Zhao

Contact: web & email | Office: 213 Caldwell Labs

  • Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering; Wide bandgap semiconductor materials and structures, new semiconductor materials explorationSolid state physics, material synthesis, device physics.

1-2 PhD positions, MSE, funding confirmed for SP20

Topic: Please contact Dr. Zhao for more information about these openings.



Finding an advisor

For newly admitted students:

The MSE dept. does not assign new students to an advisor; instead, we ask that you meet with each of the faculty who have openings. The professor you work with will act as your academic and research advisor during your graduate studies at Ohio State.

Above, please find the list of available funded research positions. Please meet first with faculty who have openings in your area(s) of interest. If, after meeting with these professors, you do not have an advisor, please meet with the remaining faculty on the list who have openings and come to an agreement to work with one of these faculty. Important: You are required to find an advisor from the funded openings available in the department. This should occur during your first term of enrollment.

You are strongly encouraged to contact any faculty member above who shares your field of interest. Contacting the faculty prior to your arrival on campus can help speed your placement on a research project.

Every effort is made to match you with a project in your field of interest. However, we have only a few positions, each of which has a narrow research focus. Therefore, you may find that the area of research you will be working in is not an exact match with your interests.

When you have found an advisor, inform the department Human Resources Officer in 176 Watts Hall and Mark Cooper in 5027 Smith Labs.




Please contact Mark Cooper (email, 614-292-7280, 5027 Smith Lab) with any questions you might have.

MSE-WE Faculty

To post a GRA position to this page, please complete this form.