Skip To Main Content
Enrique Lavernia and Julie Schoenung headshots.
Dr. Enrique Lavernia (left) and Dr. Julie Schoenung (right). | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Drs. Enrique Lavernia and Julie Schoenung have joined Texas A&M University as joint faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Both recognized as National Academy of Engineering members, Lavernia and Schoenung come to Texas A&M from the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Enrique Lavernia, Professor and M. Katherine Banks Chair:

Lavernia earned master's and doctoral degrees in materials engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree in solid mechanics from Brown University.

While at the University of California (UC), Lavernia served in several impactful positions, including dean of the College of Engineering at UC Davis and provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Irvine.

His research interests include:

  • Synthesis and behavior of nanostructured and multi-scale materials with a particular emphasis on processing fundamentals and mechanical/physical behavior
  • Novel deformation phenomena in face-centered cubic and hexagonal close-packed metals
  • Powder synthesis and processing of materials
  • Synthesis and behavior of structural materials, including high entropy metals
  • High temperature-high pressure atomization processes
  • Mathematical modeling of advanced materials and processes
  • Additive manufacturing of metallic structures using laser-based systems

Although he has only been in College Station for a short while, Lavernia said he has been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of his new colleagues — an experience that has only enhanced his enthusiasm for joining the university.

“When I first learned about the opportunity to join Texas A&M, I was excited to see the top-notch faculty members and programs already part of the university,” Lavernia said. “I was also amazed by the engineering program's sheer size, strength and depth, and the significant global impact they are making through their academic work.”

Lavernia said he looks forward to the wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary collaborations his research group will have with existing researchers. He hopes to help extend both departments' already outstanding reputation in research and education.

“I'm thrilled about the countless opportunities to collaborate with faculty colleagues from various fields,” Lavernia said. “Interacting with exceptional engineering students and being supported by a team of dedicated and top-notch staff is also something I look forward to.”

Dr. Julie Schoenung, Professor and Wofford Cain Chair III:

Schoenung earned master's and doctoral degrees in materials engineering from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Her time at UC Irvine, included serving as the founding department chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the founding co-director of the World Institute for Sustainable Development of Materials (WISDOM).

Her research interests include:

  • Synthesis and characterization of advanced materials, including high entropy ceramics
  • Additive manufacturing of functionally integrated materials
  • Advanced characterization using in-situ microscopy and high-speed imaging
  • Promoting a circular economy through the application of alternative feedstock materials
  • Materials selection and decision-making enabled by machine learning and systems analysis
  • Chemical hazard assessment, life cycle assessment, and alternatives analysis to inform the sustainable development of materials

Although Schoenung may be new to Texas A&M, her positive impression of the university has been built over years of interaction with Aggie faculty and former students.

“I am very excited about the size and reputation of the university and engineering focus of the programs,” Schoenung said. “I started my higher education schooling at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, which is also a large, public, land grant university with a strong foundation in engineering, agriculture and science. Joining Texas A&M feels like I’m coming back home to these earlier roots.”

Schoenung said she especially appreciates the support provided by the staff of both departments as she adjusts to Texas A&M.

“They’ve been extremely helpful with all the details and always with a smile,” she said. “I want to thank everyone at Texas A&M for their enthusiasm, support and kind-hearted welcome.”

Looking ahead, Schoenung said she is excited to leverage her experience to serve as a mentor and role model to the upcoming generation of engineering scholars.

“As a woman in engineering, I have often felt uncomfortable and isolated, but I am fortunate to have had many wonderful role models who guided me and opened doors for me and other women in the field,” Schoenung said. “Many of these are women I have never met, yet their courage led to lasting changes. I hope to serve as a role model for the next generation of students, faculty and researchers within both departments and beyond.”