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Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Ph.D. in Materials Engineering

Areas of Study:

Experimental and computational aspects of materials synthesis, processing, characterization, and simulation. Engineering of nanomaterials, coatings, fibers, and novel materials, and of devices enabled by these materials.

*The Ph.D. is available through the Unified Ph.D. Program in Engineering with a specialization in Materials Engineering.

Application Checklist

Required by Office of Graduate Studies:
  • Online Application for Graduate Admission
  • $50 non-refundable application processing fee
  • One set of transcripts uploaded into MyRed
  • If your native language is not English: verification of English proficiency
  • If you are not a US citizen and you expect to hold an F or J visa: financial resource information

Required by Materials Engineering:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE (international applicants only)
  • Minimum TOEFL: Paper-550 Computer-213 Internet-79
  • Statement of degree goals, career aims, and research areas of interest
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Use GAMES for online submission of materials

Application Deadline

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 15
Summer: February 15
OTHERWISE Rolling admissions


Electron Microsope

Ph.D. student Shampa Aich examines a specimen with a transmission electron microscope (TEM). This JEOL2010 TEM is equipped with X-ray spectroscopy and solid-state imaging. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has many materials facilities for research and teaching purposes.

Materials engineering involves investigation and application of the fundamental physics, chemistry and engineering of materials in order to create, develop, and use materials with superior and new properties for manufacturing processes and engineering design. The discovery, research, development, and applications of materials are major reasons behind the adoption, widespread availability, cost reduction, innovations, and improvements in medical, transportation, communications, security, home, and entertainment technologies, and much more. At UNL, students and faculty from four departments (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering) work individually and in collaboration in the interdepartmental Materials Engineering doctoral area of specialization.

The objectives in the Materials Engineering specialization are (1) to involve students in research and creative activity in new aspects and applications of materials engineering, (2) to prepare students for careers in the research, development, and applications of new and advanced materials, and (3) to provide students with a foundation for work in industry, commerce, and national and corporate laboratories, and in academia.

For instruction and research, students have access to many experimental and computational research laboratories and facilities in the departments and labs of the faculty listed below and in the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (for NCMN core facilities check

Faculty and Research
Jennifer Brand
Materials processing of thin inorganic films and particles, radiation detection, and supercritical fluids
Yuris Dzenis

Multifunctional Nanomaterials; Nanocomposites; Nanomanufacturing Processes; Novel Continuous Polymer, Carbon and Ceramic Nanofibers; Advanced Composites; Damage and Fracture Mechanics; Durability and Life Prediction; Nondestructive Evaluation

Ruqiang Feng
Ceramics; Polymers; Dynamic Deformation/Damage/Failure; Shock Waves; Atomistic-Continuum Hybrid Modeling; Tribometry; Rheometry
Jinsong Huang
Organic Electronic Materials and Devices, Nanoelectronic Material and
Devices, Organic Magnetic Materials, Organic Spintronics, Energy
Conversion and Storage
Natale Ianno

Thin Film Deposition; Plasma Processing; Nanoscale Processing; Optical Process Monitoring

Mehrdad Negabhan

Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics; Computational Mechanics; Nonlinear Elasticity, Plasticity, Viscoelasticity and Viscoplasticity; Mechanics of Amorphous and Crystalline Polymers

Brian W. Robertson
Nanofabrication; Electron Microscopy; Materials Properties and Characterization; Neutron and Magnetoelectronic Materials and Devices
Ravi Saraf
Nanotechnology; Biophysics; Bioelectronics
Jeffrey Shield

Microstructural Evolution during Processing; Nanomaterials; Magnetic Materials; Materials Characterization

Li Tan
Nanostructure Fabrication; Applications in Devices of Electronic and Biological Importance
Joseph Turner

Multiscale Characterization (Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Nanoindentation, Ultrasound); Elastic Wave Propagation and Scattering; Experimental Ultrasonics; Linear and Nonlinear Vibrations

Chair, Materials Engineering specialization in the Ph.D. program in Engineering.
Jinsong Huang