Demkowicz joins Materials Science and Engineering

Demkowicz announcement

Demkowicz demonstrating a hydrogen analyzer in his laboratory


Dr. Michael J. Demkowicz has joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University as an associate professor.

Demkowicz specializes in computational materials design and fundamental physics of material behavior, especially mechanical properties and radiation response. He currently leads several projects in these areas. One of them is a National Science Foundation-supported effort to design and synthesize nano-metallic materials (NMMs) with superior mechanical properties. NMMs are composites made up of nano-scale elements.

“When feature sizes in a material are that small, its properties are markedly different,” said Demkowicz. “We are trying to understand how we can design materials where nanometer scales yield unprecedented improvements in materials performance.”

Another project led by Demkowicz investigates the effect of hydrogen on metals. Since hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements on earth, materials are commonly exposed to it.

“Hydrogen is very small, so it easily diffuses into many materials,” said Demkowicz. “Once inside, it usually degrades the performance of the material. How that change happens is very much a mystery. We are conducting experiments to figure that out”.

 

Demkowicz cites the rising stature of Texas A&M and its materials science and engineering department among his reasons for moving to Texas. Prior to his arrival, he had several ongoing research collaborations with Texas A&M faculty. He is also interested in leading outreach activities that promote the Aggie post-doctoral community through recognition, networking and mentoring.

“We are entering into an era of materials engineering where we design materials from the bottom up,” said Demkowicz. “It is an exciting time to be a materials scientist”.