Bai Cui

Bai Cui

Bai Cui
Contact Information:
W331 NH
Lincoln: City Campus
(402) 472-5740
Personal Links:
Google Scholar page

Assistant Professor
Academic Degrees
  • PhD, Materials, Imperial College London, 2011
  • M. Eng, Materials, Tsinghua University, 2008
  • B. Eng, Materials, Tsinghua University, 2006
PhD/Postdoc Positions

PhD position starting in August 2017: the Me2 lab is searching for a candidate who has master degree and research experience on laser processing, corrosion, and/or electron microscopy.  Please send me your CV. 

Areas of Research and Professional Interest
  • Materials for extreme environments: high-temperature ceramics, oxide-dispersion-strengthened (ODS) alloys, MAX phases. 
  • Laser processing: laser shock processing, laser welding, laser sintering
  • Corrosion: stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement, high-temperature corrosion
  • Irradiation damage: irradiation defects, irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking
  • Pulse electric current sintering
  • Microstructural characterizations: electron microscopy, in-situ TEM (deformation, irradiation, heating), focused ion beam
Courses Taught
  • Corrosion (MATL 473/873)
  • Electron Microscopy of Materials (MATL 471/871)
  • Elements of Materials Science (MATL 260/360)

About Bai Cui

Bai leads the Materials for Extreme Environments (Me2) Lab at UNL, which aims to develop advanced materials that can endure extreme environments, such as high temperature, irradiation, and corrosive liquid or gas, in next-generation nuclear energy, petroleum, and aeronautic systems. He uses electron microscopy techniques, such as in-situ TEM and focused ion beam, to investigate the microstructure-property relationship of materials in extreme environments. His work has appeared in top journals such as Acta Materialia, Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science, and Journal of American Ceramic Society. He was recognized by the Richard Brook Prize for Best PhD in Ceramics in the UK (2012), Guastv Eirich Award from the European Centre for Refractories (2012), the Tony Evans Prize for Best Ceramics Thesis (2012), and the Lee Family Scholarship (2008-2011). 
Bai received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London, UK (advisor: Prof. Bill Lee), and was a Postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (advisor: Prof. Ian Robertson). 

Recent News of the Me2 Lab: 

2017.3. Dr. Cui is elected as the vice chair of the Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee in TMS. He will serve the committee for two years.   

2017.2. Our lab receives a research grant from ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.

2017.1.  Xueliang and Fei visits the I3TEM facility in Sandia National Laboratories. 

2016.11. Ting Lou sucessfully passes his defense of Master Thesis. Congratulations!  

2016.11. Dr. Cui presents an invited talk in the "Environmentally Accelerated Damage and Failure Mechanics" symposium at the ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.

2016.10. Fei Wang receives the Best poster: second prize at the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Research Fair. 

2016. 10. Dr. Cui presents an invited talk in the "High Temperature Corrosion of Structural Materials" symposium at the Materials Science & Technology 2016 meeting. 

2016.7 Dr. Cui delivers an invited talk in the "Nuclear and Irradiated Materials” symposium at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2016 Meeting. 
2016.6 Dr. Cui is awarded a NSF grant as a PI for a project "mechanisms of toughening structural ceramics by thermal engineered laser shock peening" with co-PIs Prof. Yongfeng Lu and Prof. Michael Nastasi. 
2016.6  Dr. Cui visits the the Advanced Test Reactor facillity at the Idaho National Laboratory.    
2016.5  Dr. Cui is organizing the symposium of "Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice" for TMS 2017.  
2016.5  The group welcomes Xiaoxing Qiu and Dr. Xueliang Yan to join in!   
2016.4  Qiaofeng sucessfully passes his defense of Master Thesis. Congratulations!  
2015.12 Dr. Cui is awarded an Energy Research Grant from Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research with co-PI Prof. Yongfeng Lu. 
2015.11 Dr. Cui is awarded a Petroleum Research Fund from American Chemical Society. 
2015.8   The lab welcomes Ye Lin and Ting Lou to start their research career here. 
2015.3.23-27 Qiaofeng and Dr. Cui visit Argonne National Laboratory on experiments at the IVEM-Tandem facility.  
2015.1.5 Fei Wang joins in the group as a PhD student from Tsinghua University.
2014.12.4  Dr. Cui is awarded a Faculty Seed Grant for a twelve-month period.
2014.11.14 Fei Wang is awarded a Spring 2015 Nebraska Engineering Recruitment Fellowship.
2014.11.10  Dr. Cui is invited to chair a session  in 39th International Conference & Exposition on Advanced Ceramics & Composites, in Daytona Beach, Florida, January 27, 2015. 
2014.10.17  Dr. Cui is selected to participate in the 2014-2015 Research Development Fellows Program.
2014.8.18    Qiaofeng Lu joins in the group as a graduate student from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Employment History
Assistant Professor, MME, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014.8-present
Research Associate, MSE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011.12-2014.8       

Graduate Students Advised

Qiaofeng Lu (Master), 2014-2016. Master Thesis: Improving Radiation and Stress Corrosion Cracking Resistance of Austenitic Stainless Steels by Laser Shock Peening. BS: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Fei Wang (Ph.D.), 2015-. MS: Tsinghua University; BS: University of Science & Technology Beijing.
Ziyad M. Smoqi (Master), 2015-. 
Ting Lou (Master), 2015-2016. Master Thesis: Microstructure and Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered  MoAlB CeramicsBS: UNL. 
Ye Lin (Master), 2015-2016. BS: Central South University. 
Xiaoxin Qiu (Ph.D.), 2016-2017.  BS: Northwestern Polytechnical University.
Lejun Jiang (Ph.D.), 2016-. MRes, BEng: Swansea University, UK. 

Postdoc scholars Advised
Dr. Xueliang Yan, 2016-.  PhD: Beijing Institute of Technology. 

Undergraduate Students Advised
Zachary Bram, 2015, MME, UNL.
Anelisa Petzhold, 2015.2-7, Chemical Engineering, UNL.
Alex Chin, 2015.7-8, REU program.
Abby Heiller, 2015.7-8, REU program.
Tze Yeen  Yap, 2016.9-, UCARE program. 

High School Students Advised
Peter Jurich, 2016, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 

Professional Membership

Vice Chair (2017-2018), Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee, Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)   

Member, Nuclear Materials Committee, TMS.

Member, Engineering Ceramics Committee, American Ceramic Society (ACerS).

Professional Activities
Lead organizer, "Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice" symposium at the TMS 2017, San Diego, CA, 2017.2.26
Session chair, “High Temperature Corrosion of Structural Materials” symposium at the Materials Science & Technology 2016, Salt Lake City, UT, 2016.10.27. 
Session Chair, 39th International Conference & Exposition on Advanced Ceramics & Composites, Daytona Beach, FL, 2015.1.27
Session Chair, 3rd Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium, Urbana, IL, 2012.1.25                                 

Journal Reviewer
Scripta Materialia; Ultramicroscopy; Journal of Alloys and Compounds
Journal of American Ceramic Society; Ceramics International; Advances in Applied Ceramics 
Journal of Physical Chemistry;  Applied Surface Science; Acta Physico-Chimica Sinica; Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology

Honors and Awards

Richard Brook Prize for Best PhD in Ceramics in the UK, 2012 
Guastv Eirich Award, European Centre for Refractories, 2012
Tony Evans Prize for Best Ceramics Thesis, Imperial College London, 2012
Lee Family Scholarship, Imperial College London, 2008-2011
Hancock Award, Imperial College London, 2010
Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award, Tsinghua University, 2008
Outstanding Reviewer for: Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 2015; Journal of American Ceramic Society, 2013. 


ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, PI, 01/23/2017 to 11/30/2017.  

NSF-CMMI, PI, 9/1/2016 to 8/31/2019.  co-PIs: Prof. Yongfeng Lu, Prof. Michael Nastasi. Project Title: Mechanisms of toughening structural ceramics by thermal engineered laser shock peening. 

Petroleum Research Fund, American Chemical Society, PI, 9/1/2016 to 8/31/2018. Project Title: Controlling stress corrosion cracking of alloys in chloride environments by laser shock peening.

Nanosteel CompanyPI, 7/1/2016 to 3/31/2017.  Project Title: Transmission electron microscopy evaluation. 

Energy Research Grants, Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, PI, 1/1/2016 to 12/31/2017.  co-PI: Prof. Yongfeng Lu. Project Title: Novel irradiation and stress corrosion cracking resistant oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys. 

Faculty Seed Grant, Research Council, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, PI, 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2015.

Selected Publications

A list of all publications is in my Google Scholar page.

F Wang, C Zhang, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B Cui, Laser Shock Processing of Polycrystalline Alumina Ceramics. Journal of American Ceramic Society, in press.

Q Su, B Cui, M Kirk, M Nastasi. In-situ observation of radiation damage in nanostructured amorphous SiOC/crystalline Fe composite. Scripta Materialia, 2016, 113, 79-83.

M McMurtrey, B Cui, IM Robertson, D Farkas, GS Was. Mechanism of dislocation channel-induced irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking in austenitic stainless steel. Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science, 2015, 19, 305-314..

J Kacher, B Cui, IM Robertson. In situ and tomographic characterization of damage and dislocation processes in irradiated metallic alloys by transmission electron microscopy. Journal of Materials Research, 2015, 30(9), 1202-1213. 

B Cui, M McMurtrey, GS Was, IM Robertson. Micromechanistic origin of irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking. Philosophical Magazine
2014, 94, 4197-4218. 

B Cui, J Kacher, M McMurtrey, GS Was, IM Robertson. Influence of irradiation damage on slip transfer across grain boundaries. Acta Materialia, 2014, 65, 150-160. 

B Cui, E Zapata-Solvasa, MJ Reece, C Wang, WE Lee. Microstructure and high-temperature oxidation behaviour of Ti3AlC2/W composites. Journal of American Ceramic Society, 2013, 96, 584-591.

B Cui, R Sa, DD Jayaseelan, F Inam, MJ Reece, WE Lee. Microstructural evolution during high-temperature oxidation of spark plasma sintered Ti2AlN ceramics. Acta Materialia, 2012, 60, 1079-1092. 

B Cui, DD Jayaseelan, WE Lee. TEM study of the early stages of Ti2AlC oxidation at 900 oC. Scripta Materialia, 2012, 67, 830-833.

B Cui, DD Jayaseelan, WE Lee. Microstructural evolution during high-temperature oxidation of Ti2AlC ceramics. Acta Materialia, 2011, 59, 4116-4125. 

Recent Presentations


Invited Talks: 

"Environmentally Accelerated Damage and Failure Mechanics " Symposium, ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 11, 2016, Phoenix, AZ, USA.  
“High Temperature Corrosion of Structural Materials” symposium, MS&T 2016, October 23, 2016, Salt lake city, UT, USA. 
"Nuclear and Irradiated Materials” symposium at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2016 Meeting, July 24, 2016, Columbus, OH, USA. 
UNL student chapter of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, 16 April 2015, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. 
Midwest Microscopy and Microanalysis Society Summer Meeting, 6 June 2014, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. 
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 18 April 2014, Leuven, Belgium.  
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 27 March 2014, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 7 November 2013, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
Gustav Eirich Award Ceremony, 55th International Colloquium on Refractories, 19 September 2012, Aachen, Germany. 


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