Bai Cui

Contact Information:

City Campus (Lincoln)
W331 NH
(402) 472-5740

Personal Links:

Google Scholar page

R. Vernon McBroom Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Materials, Imperial College London, 2011
  • M. Eng, Materials, Tsinghua University, 2008
  • B. Eng, Materials, Tsinghua University, 2006

Compositionally complex carbide ceramics

Compositionally complex carbide ceramics: A perspective on irradiation damage 
An comprehensive overview of radiation damage behavior to understand the fundamental mechanisms related to the impact of multi-principal metal components on phase stability, irradiation-induced defect clusters, irradiation hardening, and thermal conductivity of compositionally complex carbides. 


Employment History
  • Professor, MME, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2024.9-
  • College of Engineering R. Vernon McBroom Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2022-present 
  • Associate Professor, MME, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2020-present
  • Assistant Professor, MME, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014-2020
  • Research Associate, MSE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011-2014       

Graduate Students
  • Fei Wang (Ph.D.), 2015-2019. MS: Tsinghua University; BS: University of Science & Technology Beijing. PhD Thesis:  Laser Shock Processing of Ceramic Materials
  • Ziyad M. Smoqi (Master), 2015-2017. Master Thesis: Oxidation of Ti2AlC in High-Temperature Steam Environments. 
  • Ting Lou (Master), 2015-2016. BS: UNL. Master Thesis: Microstructure and Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered  MoAlB Ceramics
  • Lejun Jiang (Ph.D.), 2016-2017. Transfer to MBA program. MRes, BEng: Swansea University. 
  • Xiang Zhang (Ph.D.), 2018-2022. MS, BS: Central South University. PhD Thesis: Electric Field and Laser Assisted Manufacturing of Advanced Materials for Extreme Environments. 
  • Samuel Ruiz (Master), 2019-2023. BS: Creighton University. Master Thesis: Pulsed Laser Ablation of Ceramic and Metallic Materials. 
  • Nate Snyder (Master), 2020-2022. BS: UNL. Master Thesis: Digital Light Processing (DLP) of Yttria-Stabilized-Zirconia (YSZ).
  • Yongchu Yoo (Ph.D.), 2019-present. MS, BS: Yonsei University.  
  • Xin Chen (Ph.D.), 2020-present. MS, BS: China University of Mining and Technology.
  • Lanh Trinh (Ph.D.), 2021-present. MS: Kongju National University. BS: Vinh University of Technology Education. 
  • Luke A. Wadle (Ph.D.), 2022-present. BS: Benedictine College. 
  • MD Rezwan Ul Islam (Ph.D.), 2023-present. BS: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. 
  • Ryan A. Wall (Master),  2023-present. BS: Nebraska Wesleyan University.  

Postdoctoral Research Associates 
  • Dr. Xueliang Yan, 2016-2019.  PhD: Beijing Institute of Technology.
  • Dr. Fei Wang, 2019-2022. PhD: University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
  • Dr. Xiang Zhang, 2022-2023. PhD: University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 
Undergraduate Students
  • Zachary Bram, 2015, MME, UNL.
  • Anelisa Petzhold, 2015.2-7, Chemical Engineering, UNL, Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. 
  • D. Alexander Chin, 2015.7-8, University of New York at Geneseo, REU program.
  • Abigail Heiller, 2015.7-8, Milwaukee School of Engineering, REU program.
  • Tze Yeen Yap, 2016.9-2017.6, UNL. UCARE program. 
  • Yazhi Tian, Chao Yan, Yulong Li, UNL, 2018.  
  • Joseph Johnston, UNL, 2019, NASA Nebraska.
  • Nate Snyder, UNL, 2018-2020, UNL, John Woollam Scholar, UCARE.  
  • Kevin Zhao, UNL, 2018-2022, Darrell J. Nelson Summer Undergraduate Internship in Energy Sciences Research, UCARE, NASA Nebraska.  
  • Ryan Trice, 2021, University of Nebraska Summer Research Program in Nanotechnology.  
  • Noah Garcia, UNL, 2022-2023, John Woollam Scholar. 

High School Students
  • Peter Jurich, 2016, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Kate Tadesse, 2018, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Serena Jentz, 2019, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Morgan Madsen, 2020, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Sophia Rokke, 2021, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Sam Koebernick, 2022, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
  • Sarah Cai, Jeff Shen, Julian Auchtung (NCMN’s High School Summer Internship), 2023. 

Professional Membership
  • Vice-chair (2023-2024),  Secretary (2022-2023), Manufacturing Division, American Ceramic Society (ACerS). 
  • Chair, Programming Committee, Manufacturing Division, ACerS. 
  • Chair (2019-2020), Vice Chair (2017-2018), Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee, Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).   
  • BSD Sosman Lecture Committee, Basic Science Division, ACerS.  
  • Organizing Committee Member, 6th ECI: UHTC conference, 2024. 
Professional Activities
  • Lead organizer, "Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice" symposium in TMS annual meetings since 2017.  
  • Lead organizer, “Manufacturing and Processing of Advanced Ceramic Materials” symposium, Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) since 2020.
  • Co-lead organizer, “Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics” symposium, International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC), since 2021.
  • Lead Organizer, “New Frontiers and Science in Additive Manufacturing of Ceramic Materials” symposium, Electronics Materials and Applications (EMA), 2024. 
Journal Editorships 
  • Journal of Laser Applications: Senior Editor, 2022- present.
  • Journal of the American Ceramic Society: Associate Editor, 2022-present. 
  • International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing: Associate Editor, 2022-present. 
  • International Journal of Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials: Editorial Board Member, 2022-present.
  • JOM: Guest Editor for the special issues “Corrosion and Protection of Materials at High Temperatures” and “Environmental Degradation of Additively Manufactured Alloys”. 
  • Journal of Materiomics: Guest Editor for the special issue “High-Entropy Ceramics”.
  • Stress Corrosion Cracking: Theory and Practice (second Edition): Book Editor.
Journal Reviewer
Journal of American Ceramic Society; Acta Materialia; Scripta Materialia; Journal of Nuclear Materials; JOM; Scientific Reports; Ultramicroscopy; Journal of Alloys and Compounds; Ceramics International; Advances in Applied Ceramics; Materials and Design

Areas of Research and Professional Interest

  • Materials for extreme environments: high-entropy ceramics, high-entropy alloys, ODS alloys, ultra-high temperature ceramics, MAX phases
  • Advanced Manufacturing: laser shock processing, selective laser sintering, pulsed electric current sintering, additive manufacturing. 
  • Corrosion: stress corrosion cracking, high-temperature oxidation.
  • Irradiation damage: irradiation defects, irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking
  • Microstructural characterizations: in-situ TEM deformation, irradiation, heating, and electrical experiements

Research Profiles:


  • Bai Cui, Fei Wang, Yongfeng Lu, Michael Nastasi. Systems for and Methods for Improving Mechanical Properties of Ceramic Material. US Patent 11,667,581. 

Courses Taught

  • Corrosion (MATL 473/873): 2024 Fall
  • Electron Microscopy of Materials (MATL 471/871): 2025 Spring
  • Elements of Materials Science (MATL 260/360): 2023 Spring
  • Introduction to Materials for Nuclear Energy Systems (MATL 492/892): 2024 Spring

About Bai Cui

Bai leads the Materials for Extreme Environments Laboratory. His lab aims to develop advanced materials that can withstand extreme environments, such as high temperature, irradiation, and corrosive gas or liquid, in next-generation nuclear energy, petroleum, and aeronautic systems. It also develops novel advanced manufacturing processes for these materials and reveal the fundamental mechanisms in manufacturing processes. His work has appeared in top journals such as Acta Materialia and Journal of American Ceramic Society. He was recognized by the Global Star Awards from Engineering Ceramics Division, American Ceramic Society (ACerS, 2022), Faculty Research & Creative Activity Award from UNL College of Engineering (2021), and the Richard Brook Prize for Best Ph.D. in Ceramics in the UK (2012). 

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). 

Honors and Awards

Global Ambassador Award, American Ceramic Society, 2023. 

Global Star Award, Engineering Ceramics Division, American Ceramic Society, 2022. 

Faculty Research & Creative Activity Award, UNL College of Engineering, 2021

Journal of the American Ceramic Society’s top cited article, 2020-2021. 

International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing: outstanding contribution during 2020.

Journal of the American Ceramic Society’s top cited article, 2018-2019.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Faculty Development Grant, 2018 .

Honoree of College of Engineering Research Celebration, UNL, 2018, 2020.  

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

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award, Tsinghua University, 2008


DOD DEPSCoR, PI, 07/01/2023 to 06/30/2026. Co-PI: Yongfeng Lu. Project Title: Nanoscale Energy Coupling and Material Behaviors in Selective Laser Sintering of Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics. 

DOE ARPA-E, Co-PI, 05/14/2021 to 11/13/2023. PI: Xingbo Liu (West Virginia University). Project Title: High-Throughput Computational Guided Development of Refractory Complex Concentrated Alloys-Based Composite. 

DOE NEUP, Co-PI, 10/1/2020 to 9/30/2023. PI: Yongfeng Lu. Project Title: Multifunctional Laser Processing for Repair and Mitigation of Pitting and Cracks in Welded Stainless Steel Dry Storage Canisters. 

NSF DMR, PI, 08/01/2020 to 01/31/2022Co-PI: Yongfeng Lu. Project Title:  Collaborative Research: Plastic Ceramics: The Role of Grain Boundaries During Laser Shock Peening. Collaboration with Amanda Krause at U. Florida.  

Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, PI, 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2020. Co-PI: Yongfeng Lu. Project Title: Novel high‐entropy ceramic materials for extreme environments.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Faculty Development Grant. Junior Faculty, 7/16/2018 to 7/15/2020. PI: Jeffrey Shield. Co-PI: Bai Cui, Michael Nastasi.  Project Title: Faculty development program in nuclear engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

NSF-CMMI, Materials Engineering & Processing Program. PI, 9/1/2018 to 8/31/2021. Co-PIs: Qin Zhou, Michael Nastasi. Project Title: Understanding the mechanisms of the pulsed electric current process for joining oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys.  

Tethon 3D, PI, 08/01/2018 through 07/31/2019. Co-PI: Prahalada Rao. Project Title: A novel DLP 3D printer optimized for ceramics and metals.  

Nebraska Corn Board, PI,  07/01/2018 to 6/30/2019. Co-PI: Mark Wilkins. Project Title: 3D printing using corn kernel fiber. 

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

NSF-CMMI, Materials Engineering & Processing Program, PI, 9/1/2016 to 8/31/2020. Co-PIs: Yongfeng Lu, 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 8/31/2019. Project Title: Controlling stress corrosion cracking of alloys in chloride environments by laser shock peening.

Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, PI, 1/1/2016 to 4/30/2018. Co-PI: Yongfeng Lu. Project Title: Novel irradiation and stress corrosion cracking resistant oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys. 

Selected Publications

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

F Wang, X Yan, L Liu, M Nastasi, Y Lu, B Cui. Surface strengthening of single-crystal alumina by high-temperature laser shock peening. Materials Research Letters, 9, 155-161 (2021).

X Zhang, F Wang, Z Wu, Y Lu, X Yan, M Nastasi, Y Chen, Y Hao, X Hong, B Cui. Direct selective laser sintering of hexagonal barium titanate ceramics.  Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 104, 1271-1280 (2021). 

F Wang, X Yan, T Wang, Y Wu, L Shao, M Nastasi, Y Lu, B Cui. Irradiation damage in (Zr0.25Ta0.25Nb0.25Ti0.25)C high-entropy carbide ceramics. Acta Materialia, 195, 739-749 (2020). 

F Wang, X Zhang, X Yan, Y Lu, M Nastasi, Y Chen, B Cui. The effect of submicron grain size on thermal stability and mechanical properties of high‐entropy carbide ceramicsJournal of the American Ceramic Society, 103, 4463-4472 (2020). 

X Zhang, M Khedmati, Y Kim, H Shin, J Lee, Y Kim, B Cui. Microstructural evolution during spark plasma sintering of FJS-1 lunar soil simulant. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 103, 899 (2020). 

X Yan, F Wang, K Hattar, M Nastasi, B Cui. Novel amorphous SiOC dispersion-strengthened austenitic steels. Materialia, 6, 100345 (2019). 

F Wang, X Yan, C Zhang, L Deng, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B CuiLocalized plasticity in silicon carbide ceramics induced by laser shock processing. Materialia, 6, 100265 (2019). 

X Yan, L Constantin, Y Lu, J Silvain, M Nastasi, B Cui. (Hf0.2Zr0.2Ta0.2Nb0.2Ti0.2)C high-entropy ceramics with low thermal conductivityJournal of American Ceramic Society, 101 (10), 4486-4491 (2018).  

F Wang, C Zhang, X Yan, L Deng, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B Cui. Microstructure-property relation in alumina ceramics during post-annealing process after laser shock processing. Journal of American Ceramics Society, 101 (11), 4933-4941 (2018).  

Q Lu, Q Su, F Wang, C Zhang, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B. Cui. Influence of laser shock peening on irradiation defects in austenitic stainless steelsJournal of Nuclear Materials, 489, 203–210 (2017).   

F Wang, C Zhang, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B Cui, Laser Shock Processing of Polycrystalline Alumina CeramicsJournal of American Ceramic Society, 100, 911-919 (2017).  

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

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

B Cui, M McMurtrey, GS Was, IM Robertson. Micromechanistic origin of irradiation-assisted stress corrosion crackingPhilosophical Magazine94, 4197-4218 (2014). 

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

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

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

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

Recent Presentations

Invited Talks: 

  • Materials Science & Technology (MS&T), Oct 4, 2020, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.  
  • International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites (ICACC), Jan 26, 2020, Daytona Beach, FL, USA.   
  • MS&T, September 29, 2019, Portland, OR, USA.  
  • Nuclear Science & Engineering Seminar, July 31, 2019, Argonne National Laboratory, USA. 
  • 3rd Annual Midwest Regional 3D Symposium, June 7, 2019, Kansas City, KS, USA.
  • MSE Seminar, “Mechanisms of Laser Shock Processing of Metal and Ceramic Materials", University of Florida, April 2, 2019, Gainesville, FL, USA. 
  • "Laser Shock Peening" Symposium, OSA Laser Applications Conference, November 7, 2018, Boston, MA, USA. 
  • "Advanced Laser Processing and Manufacturing II" Symposium, SPIE/COS Photonics Asia 2018, October 13, 2018, Beijing, China. 
  • 10th meeting on Recent Developments in the Study of Radiation Effects in Matter, August 6, 2018, Galveston Island, TX, USA. 
  • 'Deformation in Irradiated Materials' symposium and ‘Plasticity of Materials under Extreme Conditions’ symposium, 2018 International Conference on Plasticity, Damage and Fracture, Jan 3, 2018, San Juan, PR, USA.
  • Seminar, "Laser Shock Processing of Metals and Ceramics: Preventing Material Failures by Surface Engineering" , Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience,  Dec 6, 2017, Lincoln, NE, USA. 
  • "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.