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,
  • 100% 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 $80,000 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 student-related fees total roughly $125 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

We anticipate 10-15 funded openings for Spring 2024 in such areas 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

2024 GRA openings


photo of Boian Alexandrov, Professor Ohio State Welding Engineering

Boian Alexandrov

Contact: View Dr. Alexandrov's Bio

  • Professor (Ph.D. Technical Univ. of Sofia); Director, Center for Weldability Evaluation; physical metallurgy of welding; simulation; phase transformation analysis; characterization; evaluation of weldability; service performance of welds in advanced alloys.

1 PhD position, MSE or WE, funding confirmed 

Topic: Computational Optimization of Welding and Additive Manufacturing Processes

Description: A computational design of experiment (CDoE) framework for process-microstructure-property optimization in welding and additive manufacturing (AM) has been developed and validated. This project aims at expanding the CDoE framework to various welding and AM processes. It involves development of process models and process-microstructure-property relationships, and utilizes finite element analysis, thermodynamic and kinetic simulations, computational process optimization, and experimental validation through testing and advanced characterization. The project is conducted within the OSU Center for Weldability Evaluation.


Dr. Glenn Daehn Ohio State Materials Science and Engineering

Glenn Daehn

Contact: View Dr. Daehn's Bio

3 PhD positions, MSE or WE, funding confirmed 

Description: Graduate students needed to develop multiple research thrusts as part of the NSF-funded HAMMER (Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing, Moving from Evolution to Revolution) initiative.

NSF's HAMMER ERC is developing a new approach to design and manufacturing, putting product needs first and then finding new manufacturing pathways based on the agility of artisans and reproducibility of machines. HAMMER is the hub for technical, commercial, educational and standard setting for Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing knowledge creation, deployment and commercial development.


Photo of Professor Carolin Fink

Carolin Fink

Contact: View Dr. Fink's Bio

  • Assistant Professor (Dr.-Ing., Otto-von-Guericke University, 2016); Weldability and welding metallurgy of metallic materials; Fundamentals of degradation and cracking phenomena in welds; Metallurgical challenges in dissimilar materials welding and additive manufacturing.

1 PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed

Title: Rationalization of Liquid/Solid and Solid/Solid Interphase Instabilities During Thermal-Mechanical Transients of Metal Additive Manufacturing

Description: This project explores solid/solid interface stabilities in metal additive manufacturing using emerging scanning and electron microscopy techniques (SEM and TEM) and diffraction techniques.

Background: Background in materials science and engineering with emphasis on metals research and materials characterization using electron microscopy techniques and diffraction techniques to characterize metallic microstructures.



Gerald Frankel with Xiaolei Guo

Contact: View Dr. Frankel's Bio

  • Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of the Fontana Corrosion Center (Sc.D. MIT 1985); passivation and localized corrosion of metals and alloys; corrosion inhibition; protective coatings; atmospheric corrosion

2 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Project 1: Predicting Pitting and Stress Corrosion Cracking of Dry Cask Storage Canisters via Multiscale Characterization, 3D Computer Vision, and Machine Learning.

Description: Identify when and how pitting corrosion nucleates, grows, and transitions into stress corrosion cracking by leveraging high throughput testing methods, multi-scale characterization techniques, and 2D/3D computer vision based machine learning approaches.

Background: Motivated student with interest in corrosion, computer vision, and machine learning.

Project 2: Removal of Cu from Steel Scrap via Pyrometallurgy and Electrochemistry in Molten Salts

Description: Develop technical solutions to remove tramp Cu from automobile steel scrap to achieve high quality steel.

Background: Motivated student with interest in high temperature electrochemistry.



Alan Luo

Contact: View Dr. Luo's Bio

  • Professor (Ph.D., University of Windsor, 1993); Advanced and sustainable manufacturing processes; Lightweight materials; Computational materials science)

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed 

Topics: Dr. Luo's research funding involves the following subjects. The three areas are interconnected and his projects span these interests. Students with an interest in these fields should contact Dr. Luo directly to find the project that is the best match for the student.

  • Lightweight materials (Al, Mg, Ti & high-entropy alloys, bio-metals, super-wood, and metal matrix nano-composites).
  • Advanced and sustainable manufacturing processes (casting, forming, additive and multi-material manufacturing).
  • Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) and lightweight and biomedical applications. Research is funded by federal agencies and industry.


photo of Michael Mills Ohio State Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Michael Mills

Contact: View Dr. Mills' Bio

  • Professor, Chair (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1985); relationships between microstructure and structural properties of materials; characterization; mechanical behavior of metallurgical systems; advanced alloys.

1 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Multimodal design of revolutionary additive-enabled oxide dispersion strengthened superalloys

Description: This project is funded through the NSF DMREF (Designing Materials for Revolutionize and Engineer our Future), and will develop new knowledge and strategies for creating a new class of metallic materials for a wide range of demanding applications in aerospace and power generation. A novel additive-processing route for creating oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) metallic alloys, recently developed by collaborators at NASA GRC, will be utilized to design superalloys with exceptional high temperature properties. This new additive ODS process enables the synthesis of ODS alloys in a single, additive processing step, thereby bypassing the conventional mechanical alloying process that is time-intensive and inconsistent with scale-up manufacturing. The team also includes collaborators at GE Aerospace and the Air Force Research Laboratory, and seeks to meld the new additive ODS process with superalloy design principles by employing precipitate strengthening in order to enhance strength and oxidation resistance across multiple temperature regimes.

This graduate assistant research position will concentrate on characterization of these new additive ODS alloys using the state-of-the-art facilities at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS). This information will help inform a novel microstructure based machine learning (ML) framework to: (a) represent multiscale microstructure in a comprehensive manner, (b) develop property/processing linkages, and (c) accelerate the iterative design of new additive ODS alloys. The additive ODS processing route opens the door to rapid assessment of alloy behavior, enabling for the first time the use of effective ML approaches for alloy-microstructure-property optimization of novel ODS alloys.

Background: Strong interest in materials characterization and analysis.


Dr. Roberto Myers

Roberto Myers

Contact: View Dr. Myers' Bio

  • Professor (Ph.D., Un of California, Santa Barbara, 2006); thermal spintronics; nanowire photonics;  nanostructure synthesis; UV optoelectronics; magnetic materials; thermo-magneto-transport.

2 PhD, MSE, funding confirmed

Topic: Epitaxial growth and correlated microscopy of dislocations

Project 1: Molecular beam epitaxy based growth of semiconductors and magnetic oxides for controlling and coupling quantum defects.

Project 2:  Correlated electron microscopy to map defect networks and measure their electronic and optical properties.

Background: MSE, physics, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering



Siddharth Rajan

Contact: web & email

  • Professor; joint appointment in MSE and Electrical and Computer Engineering

 1 MS or PhD, MSE, funding confirmed 

Topic: Semiconductor Materials and Devices

Description: We have ongoing projects on wide bandgap semiconductor growth, device engineering. Research on design, materials growth, engineering of next-generation high-performance devices used in energy-efficient power electronics, high-frequency communication, space applications, and advanced optoelectronics. Contact Dr. Rajan for more information.


Antonio Ramirez

Antonio Ramirez

Contact: web & email

  • Professor; Welding Engineering (Ph.D. Sao Paulo University, 2001); additive manufacturing metallurgy, weldability, printability, materials modeling and characterization, joining of structural materials, study of advanced steels, stainless steels and Ni-based alloys fusion welding, additive manufacturing, solid state joining (friction stir welding).

1 PhD, MSE or WE, funding confirmed 

Topic: Dissimilar materials Joining the transportation industry

Description: This project is being developed within our Ma2JIC Center, and it applies a combination of advanced joining processes, fundamental materials science, and modeling to address the joining of advanced metallic alloys, including, Aluminum alloys and advanced high-strength steels.

The project involves the use of conventional and advanced joining processes, including but not restricted to Resistance Spot Welding, Ultrasonic Welding, Adhesives, spray deposition, and Additive manufacturing. The project also involves the evaluation of interlayers of materials that could preclude or delay the formation of undesirable intermetallic phases and therefore improve the mechanical performance of the joints.

The project ensures the student's direct interaction with leading U.S. and International industrial organizations that intend to use the developed technologies. However, the PhD. student is expected to use fundamental materials science, modeling, and advanced characterization to improve and further develop the technologies and materials used.

Background: Materials Science or Mechanical Engineering with a strong materials background are preferred. Knowledge of electron microscopy or interest in learning it is very important.

US citizenship is not required.



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 and Mark Cooper.




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

MSE-WE Faculty

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