Bai Cui

Bai Cui

Bai Cui
Contact Information:
W331 NH
City Campus (Lincoln)
(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
Ph.D. RA Positions

Two Ph.D. RA positions are available. Candidates who are motivated in materials research with a Master degree are preferred. Students can learn new techniques on material characterizations and novel manufacturing processes, and work with national labs and industry.   

Areas of Research and Professional Interest
  • Materials for extreme environments: ODS alloys, high-temperature ceramics, MAX phases 
  • Advanced Manufacturing: laser shock processing, pulse electric current process, additive manufacturing
  • Corrosion: stress corrosion cracking, high-temperature corrosion
  • Irradiation damage: irradiation defects, IASCC 
  • Microstructural characterizations: in-situ TEM (deformation, irradiation, heating), FIB
Courses Taught
  • Corrosion (MATL 473/873): 2018 Spring
  • Electron Microscopy of Materials (MATL 471/871): 2017 Fall
  • Elements of Materials Science (MATL 260/360): 2018 Fall

About Bai Cui

Bai leads the Materials for Extreme Environments (Me2) Lab at UNL, which aims to develop advanced materials that can withstand extreme environments, such as high temperature, irradiation, and corrosive liquid or gas, in next-generation 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 Materials for Extreme Environments (Me2) Lab: 

2018. 10. Nate Snyder is a winner of John Woollam Foundation Award for MME Undergraduate Research.  
2018. 6. A Faculty Development Grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will support Dr. Bai Cui's research and eduction on nuclear engineering for two years. 
2018. 5. Dr. Cui is awarded a NSF grant as PI for the project "understanding the mechanisms of the pulsed electric current process for joining oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys" with Dr. Qin Zhou and Dr. Michael Nastasi. 
2018. 5. Two papers from our group will appear in the Journal of American Ceramics Society, on laser shock processing and high-entropy ceramics, respectively.  
2018. 3. Dr. Cui is one of Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST Awards winners. 
2018. 2. Dr. Cui will lead a project from the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation to promote education and outreach in ceramic and glass in Nebraska. 
2017. 12. Dr. Cui hosts a seminar "Laser Shock Processing of Metals and Ceramics: Preventing Material Failures by Surface Engineering"  in Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience.  
2017.11 Xueliang's two papers on ODS alloys have been accepted for publication in Corrosion and Advanced Engineering Materials. Congratulations! 
2017.4. Ziyad Smoqi sucessfully passes his oral defense of Master Thesis. Congratulations!  
2017.3. Dr. Cui is elected as the vice chair of the Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee in TMS. 
2017.2. Our lab receives a research grant from ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.
2017.1.  Xueliang and Fei visit the I3TEM facility in Sandia National Laboratories. 
2016.11. Ting Lou sucessfully passes his defense of Master Thesis. Congratulations!  
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.  
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. 
2015.3.23-27 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.
2014.10.17  Dr. Cui is selected to participate in the 2014-2015 Research Development Fellows Program.
2014.8.18   The Materials for Extreme Environments (Me2) Lab is established at UNL. 


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
Fei Wang (Ph.D.), 2015-. MS: Tsinghua University; BS: University of Science & Technology Beijing.
Ziyad M. Smoqi (Master), 2015-2017. Master Thesis: Oxidation of Ti2AlC in High-Temperature Steam Environments. 
Ting Lou (Master), 2015-2016. Master Thesis: Microstructure and Properties of Spark Plasma Sintered  MoAlB CeramicsBS: University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Lejun Jiang (Ph.D.), 2016-2017. Transfer to MBA program. MRes, BEng: Swansea University. 
Xiang Zhang (Ph.D.), 2018-. MS, BS: Central South University.

Postdoctoral Research Associates 
Dr. Xueliang Yan, 2016-.  PhD: Beijing Institute of Technology. 

Visting Scholars
Prof. Rongjuan Sui, Shandong Agriculture and Engineering University, 2017-2018. 

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 Spring.  
Joseph Johnston, Jiaqi Li, UNL, 2018 Fall.
Nate Snyder, 2018-, UNL, John Woollam Scholar.    

High School Students
Kate Tadesse, 2018, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 
Peter Jurich, 2016, NCMN’s High School Summer Internship. 

Professional Membership
Member: Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS); American Ceramic Society (ACerS); American Nuclear Society (ANS). 
Vice Chair (2017-2018), Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee, TMS.    
Technical Committee Member in TMS: Corrosion and Environmental Effects, Nuclear Materials, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Additive Manufacturing.
Technical Committee Member in ACerS: Engineering Ceramics. 

Professional Activities

Lead organizer, "Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice" symposium in TMS 2017, 2018, 2019 annual meetings.  
Session chair:  “Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice” symposium, TMS 2018; “Advanced MAX/MXene Phases and UHTC Materials for Extreme and High Temperature Environment” symposium, “Additive Manufacturing and 3-D Printing Technologies” symposium, ICACC 2018; “Applications of High Energy Laser Beams in Surface Processing and Machining” symposium, IMECE 2017; “Environmentally Assisted Cracking: Theory and Practice” symposium, TMS 2017; “High Temperature Corrosion of Structural Materials” symposium, MS&T, 2016.    

Journal Reviewer
Journal of American Ceramic Society; Journal of Nuclear Materials; Scripta Materialia; JOM; Scientific Reports; Ultramicroscopy; Journal of Alloys and Compounds; Ceramics International; Advances in Applied Ceramics; Materials and Design; Vacuum; Journal of Physical Chemistry

Honors and Awards

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Faculty Development Grant Award, 2018 
Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST Award, 2018
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


Nuclear Regulatory Commission Faculty Development Grant. Junior Faculty, 7/16/2018 to 7/15/2020, $324,403. 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, $307,825. 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, $50,000. 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, $79,600. Co-PI: Mark Wilkins. Project Title: 3D printing using corn kernel fiber. 

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, PI, 01/23/2017 to 11/30/2017, $15,866.  

NSF-CMMI, Materials Engineering & Processing Program, PI, 9/1/2016 to 8/31/2019, $348,336. 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, $110,000. Project Title: Controlling stress corrosion cracking of alloys in chloride environments by laser shock peening.

Nanosteel CompanyPI, 7/1/2016 to 3/31/2017, $5,910.

Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, PI, 1/1/2016 to 4/30/2018, $149,924. 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.

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 conductivity. Journal of American Ceramics Society, 2018, in press. 

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, 2018, in press.

X Yan, F Wang, L Jiang, X Qiu, Y Lu, M Nastasi, Z Zhou, B Cui. Chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking of oxide-dispersion-strengthened austenitic steels. Corrosion, 2017, 74 (4), 424-429.

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 steels. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2017, 489, 203–210.  

F Wang, C Zhang, Y Lu, M Nastasi, B Cui, Laser Shock Processing of Polycrystalline Alumina Ceramics. Journal of American Ceramic Society, 2017, 100 (3), 911-919. 

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 Magazine2014, 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: 

  • "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. 


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