October 23, 2023

PhD candidates Victoria Christensen, Nicky Han, Maddie McAllister and Scott Berens along with Professors Matt Begley, Carlos Levi and Frank Zok toured Pratt & Whitney's new facility dedicated to development and low-rate production of ceramic composites for aerospace applications. The tour and accompanying discussions proved to be excellent learning opportunities for all students, young and not-so-young. The visit was motivated by ongoing research activities within the Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence in Composites at UCSB.

October 04, 2023

We'll have openings for new PhD students starting in the Fall of 2024, in the areas of high-temperature ceramic composites and environmental barrier coatings. For details contact 

October 04, 2023

PhD candidates Victoria Christensen, Scott Berens and Isaac Duan traveled with Professors Frank Zok, Matt Begley and Carlos Levi as well as Shingo Kanazawa (IHI, currently stationed at UCSB) to participate in a 3-day workshop with researchers at IHI Japan. The workshop builds on a longstanding research collaboration between UCSB and IHI focused on ceramic composites and environmental barrier coatings.

April 01, 2023

Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Ruschel! Amanda recently defended and is on her way into the real world. In the coming days she will be starting a new job at Exponent, a prominent engineering consulting firm.  

Amanda's dissertation focused on design strategies for tailoring compressive properties of cellular structures, targeting concepts that provide combinations of high strength and high straining capacity.

Photo: Amanda, center, celebrating with her friends after her defense.  

January 10, 2023

Congratulations to Victoria Christensen, PhD candidate, for having her recently-published paper in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society selected as EDITOR’S CHOICE.  The paper, entitled “Insights into internal oxidation of SiC/BN/SiC composites”, includes unprecedented SEM imaging of microstructural changes that occur in the vicinity of BN fiber coatings. 

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October 04, 2022

PhD candidates Victoria Christensen, Scott Berens, Maddie McAllister, Nicky Han and Steven Rizzie along with Professors Frank Zok, Matt Begley and Carlos Levi toured the P&W Middletown Engine Center as well as the test facilities in East Hartford CT. The tours were part of the P&W-sponsored Center of Excellence in Composites at UCSB.

Photo, from left, Matt Begley, John Shaw (P&W, UCSB alum), Nicky Han, Victoria Christensen, Frank Zok, Maddie McAllister, Scott Berens, Steven Rizzie, Rick Montero (P&W), Olivier Sudre (P&W, UCSB alum)
August 12, 2022

The Zok group traveled to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for a Gordon Research Conference on Solid State Studies in Ceramics. A few students also attended the Gordon Research Seminar for graduate students the weekend before the conference. The whole week was filled with great networking and presentations by Frank and the students. See poster and presentation titles below. (pictured from left to right: Maddie McAllister, Victoria Christensen, Frank Zok, Scott Berens, Andy Ericks) 



July 19, 2022

Materials Ph.D. Student Lauren Poole was recognized with an APS Early Career Speaker Award for her presentation at the 2022 Biennial APS meeting on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter. The meeting was held in Anaheim, CA from July 10 to July 15. Lauren’s talk was entitled “Dynamic mechanical behavior of co-continuous metal composites". Lauren is a PhD student in Professor Frank Zok’s group. Her research was conducted within the Center for Research Excellence on Dynamically Deformed Solids. 

June 01, 2022

Our new article is featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society! The article responds to a longstanding need for identifying a reasonable number of silicate compositions that represent the wide variability in engine deposits arising from airborne siliceous debris (ashes, dusts, sands, etc.) in the atmosphere. Ph.D. Candidate Andy Ericks worked with Profs. Frank Zok, Carlos Levi, and David Poerschke to develop the machine learning-based protocol.

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