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National Security Education Center


  • Institute Director
    Dan Thoma
    (505) 663-5627
  • Institute Deputy Director
    Bob Field
    (505) 663-5807
  • Institute Office Manager
    Lynn Chavez
    (505) 663-5233

MDI People

Photo of Dan J. Thoma
Dan J. Thoma
MDI Leader
Photo of Robert D. Field
Robert D. Field
MDI Deputy Leader
Photo of Enrique J. Lavernia
Enrique J. Lavernia
Dean of UCD College of Engineering
Photo of Billy D. Sanders
Billy D. Sanders
UCD MDI Director
Photo of Debbie Wilke
Debbie Wilke
MDI Office Manager

Current Students

Photo of Krysta  Biniek Krysta Biniek

Ms. Biniek is a senior at the Colorado School of Mines. Her research this summer at LANL focuses on using DNA sequencing of plants and microbes to optimize the production of biofuels. Specifically, sequencing unidentified viruses from various biofuel crops to evaluate the potential for lesser known viruses to emerge as significant pathogens as biofuel plantings increase.

Photo of Peter  Bolton Peter Bolton

Mr. Bolton graduated from James Madison University in May 2007 with a degree in Integrated Science and Technology with a concentration in Energy. His research this summer at LANL focuses on project engineering and energy efficiency projects. He is assisting in LANL's adherence to the DOE Order 430.2b and EO 13423, which require government facilities to have more stringent energy policies and require energy efficient engineering.

Photo of Phillip  Chiu Phillip Chiu

Mr. Chiu received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Davis in May of 2009. He will be attending the graduate program of University of California at Los Angeles in the fall of 2009. This summer at LANL his research focuses on investigating cluster stability of Boron and Boron-Hydrides, which may show possible application in solid-state hydrogen storage.

Photo of Diana Donati Diana Donati

Ms. Donati is a senior at the University of California at Davis. Her research this summer at LANL focuses on analyzing deformed and annealed beryllium using neutron diffraction and line profile analysis. She hopes to track dislocation density of each sample (which were strained at various strain rates) by looking at the diffraction peak width as a function of annealing temperature.

Photo of Curt  Dvonch Curt Dvonch

Corentin Guebels

Mario Hlawitschka

Jianwei Hu

Mentored by Paul Pan.

Christopher Korman



Mr. Korman's  project involves integrating a synthetic bilayer on top of a micromachined sensing platform.  Transmembrane ion channel proteins facilitate the selective transport of ions across the syntheticmembrane. The sensing platform is characterized by way of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.


Joanne Lookman

Chantell Murphy

Mentored by Paul Pan.

Photo of Alexander  Pan Alexander Pan

Mr. Pan is a senior at Purdue University. His research this summer at LANL focuses on using parameters and researching which parameter is most efficient at discriminating against dark energy models.

Photo of Ashishkumar Patel Ashishkumar Patel

Mr. Patel is in his fourth year at the University of California at Davis, studying Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering. His research this summer at LANL focuses on assisting in developing and calibrating ENABLE (Energetic Neutral Atom Beam Lithography and Epitaxy) to grow InGaN based thin films. When grown correctly, the bandgaps for InGaN films can cover the entire solar spectrum and thus dramatically increase the efficiency of photovoltaic cells.

Photo of Sohail Shafii Sohail Shafii

Stephen Sintay

Photo of Phi  Thanh Phi Thanh

Mr. Thanh is studying conventional methods of growing single crystals in allotropic materials are slow and unreliable.  Such methods such as the strain anneal technique costs hours for a centimeter sized single crystals.  However, there exists an abnormal grain growth phenomenon called dynamic abnormal grain growth (DAGG), which can achieve centimeter-sized grains in matters of minutes.  DAGG have been observed in Mo and is being pursuit in Alpha Iron. 

Joanna Thielen

Ms. Thielen is a senior at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research this summer at LANL focuses on converting biomass into high-energy density fuels by extending the carbon chain of cellulose derived molecules.

Photo of Cameron Tracy Cameron Tracy

Mr. Tracy is in his third year at the University of California at Davis. His research this summer at LANL focuses on the use of inert matrix fuels to recycle spent plutonium and other minor actinides in light water reactors.

Daniel Walker

Photo of Victoria Webster Victoria Webster

Ms. Webster will be a sophomore this fall at Case Western Reserve University. Her research at LANL this summer focuses on the mechanical response of Zirconium at high strains and high strain rates.

Sean Williams

Daniel Worthington

Thomas Wynn

MDI LANL Staff Affiliations

David Alexander / MST-6

David Alexander received his Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 1977. He received his Master's and Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 and 1984, respectively. He also received a Post-doctoral Appointment in the Department of Metallurgy at Cambridge University, UK, in the years 1985-1986. His research interests include structure-mechanical properties relationships in structural materials, deformation processing, and novel fabrication and testing techniques.

Stephen Ashworth / MPA-STC

Francisco Baca / MPA-STC

Mark Bibeault / AET-1

John Bingert / MST-8

John Bingert is a technical staff member and serves as team leader for the Dynamic Materials Properties team in MST-8 and as a Project Leader within the Joint Munitions Program.  He received his M.S. in metallurgical engineering from Colorado School of Mines in 1990.  John’s research activities have included deformation processing, High-Temperature Superconductor (HTSC) fabrication, ferrous metallurgy, hydrostatic extrusion, and P/M processing.  His current efforts involve texture characterization and modeling, plastic anisotropy, and microstructural damage quantification.  John completed a two-year external change-of-station to the Naval Research Laboratory in 2003 focused on image-based modeling and friction-stir welding research, and he continues to remain active in DoD-related programmatic work.  He is the coauthor of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and the recipient of 6 patents related to advanced materials processing.  John is also currently pursuing an Executive MBA at UNM’s Anderson School of Business.

Richard Boudri / AET-DO

Richard Boudrie / AET-DO

Mark Bourke / MST-8

Brian Boyer / N-4

Photo of Donald Brown Donald Brown / MST-8

Donald Brown graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1993. He continued on to The Pennsylvania State University where in 1998 he gained his Ph.D., also in Physics. Dr. Brown's dissertation topic was: X-Ray and Neutron Scattering Studies of the Structure and Phase Transitions of Classical and Quantum Absorbates in Porous Vycor Glass. Dr. Brown's research highlights have included membership in the Sigma Phi Sigma National Physics Honor Society, the Physics Departmental Graduate Teaching Award in 1994, and the Defense Programs Award of Excellence in 2001 and 2004.

Carl Cady / MST-8

Photo of Ellen Cerreta Ellen Cerreta / MST-8

Dr. Cerreta graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1996. She continued on to Carnegie Mellon University where she gained her Master of Science degree in 1997 and her Ph.D. in 2000, both in Materials Science and Engineering. Her thesis was titled: Substructural Evolution of Creep Deformed Titanium Alumnides. Dr. Cerreta's research highlights have included first place in the AIAA Design Contest in 1996, Winner of the TMS Travel Scholarship in 2001, the Mentoring Award for the Women's Diversity Working Group and recognition as the TMS Young Leader, both in 2004.

Shao-Ping Chen / T-1

Wendy Cieslak / MST-DO

Amy Clarke / MST-6

Jason Cooley / MST-6

Andrew Dattlebaum / MPA-CINT

Ma Serramp De Caro / MST-8

Scott Dillard / ISR-2

Paul Dunn / MST-6

Robert Dye / TT

Stephen Eidenbenz / CCS-7

Lance Green / B-6

Goutam Gupta / B-7

Heidi Hahn / ADE

Marilyn Hawley / MST-8

Mark Hoffbauer / C-CDE

Peter Hosemann / MST-8

Karl Jonietz / PADSTE

Anand Kanjarla / MST-8

Photo of George Kaschner George Kaschner / MST-8

Brian Kendrick / T-1

Paul Langan / B-8

Sarah Larsen / D-4

Jason Lashley / MST-6

Photo of Turab Lookman Turab Lookman / T-4

Erik Luther / MST-6

Stuart Maloy / ADE

Mathew Maltrud / T-3

Kenneth Marken Jr. / MPA-STC

Daniel Martinez / MST-8

Vladimir Matias / MPA-STC

Brent Matteson / C-IIAC

Rodney McCabe / MST-6

Photo of Bogdan Mihaila Bogdan Mihaila / MST-6

Photo of Amit Misra Amit Misra / MPA-CINT

Amit Misra earned his Master's and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research includes synthesis of nanostructured and nanolayered materials via physical vapor deposition; nanomechanical behavior of materials; radiation effects in nanostructured materials; dislocation theory; transmission electron microscopy of atomic scale defects in materials. His current activities involve studying mechanical behavior and radiation effects in metallic nanolayered composites, nanotwinned metals and nonporous metals.

Mike Nastasi / MPA-CINT

Michael Nastasi is the Director of the Center for Materials at Irradiation and Mechanic Extremes, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center. He is a former CINT Thrust Leader of Nanoscale Electronics, Mechanics, and Systems and Team Leader of the Ion-Solid Interaction and Interface Engineering Team at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Mike received his BS (1981), MS (1983) and PhD (1986) degrees from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Cornell University and has been at Los Alamos since 1985.  Mike’s research interests include ion-solid interactions, irradiation induced phase transformations, irradiation effects in nanostructured materials, ion enhanced and plasma synthesis of materials, surface mechanical properties of metastable materials and nano scale structures, materials analysis using ion beam techniques. 

Carl Necker / MST-6

Howard Nekimken / LANSCE

Stephen Niezgoda / MST-8

Kevin Ott / SPO-AE

Eric Pitcher / LANSCE

Douglas Safarik / MST-6

Photo of Avadh Saxena Avadh Saxena / T-11

Carolyn Scherer / N-4

Roland Schulze / MST-6

Chris Stanek / MST-8

Chris Stanek received his Bachelor's in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in 1999. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Materials from the Imperial College, London, in 2003. His research interests include multidimensional defects, nonstoichiometry and diffusion in ceramics, atomistic simulation of oxide nuclear fuel performance, robust nuclear waste form development, and defect engineering of optical materials.

David Teter / MST-6

Carlos Tome / MST-8

Carlos Tome received his Master's in Physics from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, in 1975. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Physics from the National University of La Plata, Argentina, in 1982. He also completed post-doctoral studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, in the years 1982-1984. His research interests include elastic, plastic, elastic, plastic, viscous and thermal properties of single crystals and polycrystal aggregates, of metallic and geologic character, of high and low symmetry, development of constitutive models for predicting plastic forming, texture development, elasto-plastic response, residual stresses and creep of polycrystals, and simulation of mechanical response and mechanical properties of polycrystalline aggregates and composite materials.

Carl Trujillo / MST-8

Blas Uberuaga / MST-8

Blas Uberuaga / MST-8

Heather Volz / MST-6

Geoffrey Waldo / B-9

Judy White / EES-16

Current Faculty


Ilke Arslan

Mark Asta

Mark Asta received both his Bachelor’s of Science and his Ph. D.  from University of California at Berkeley.  He now is an adjunct professor at the University of California at Davis. His research interests include computational materials science, computer-aided materials design, and multiscale modeling of phase transformations.

Photo of Nigel Browning Nigel Browning

Nigel Browning received his Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, in 1988. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 1922. He is now a full time professor at the University of California at Davis. His research interests include the structure-property relationships at atomic scale defects and internal interfaces in materials, and atomic resolution and sensitivity imaging and analytical techniques in electron microscopy.

George Bruening

Darryl Butt

Dr. Butt joined the faculty of BSU fall 2005 after holding several positions at the University of Florida, Ceramatec Inc., Los Alamos National Laboratory, and A. P. Green Industries. Dr. Butt’s expertise is in the area of processing and properties of materials and coatings for use in extreme environments.  Much of his research has involved experimental and computational assessments of gas-solid reactions, particularly those involving non-oxide ceramics and high use temperature materials.  He received his Ph.D. in Ceramic Science in 1991 and his B.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering with a minor in Technical Writing in 1984, from the Pennsylvania State University.  

Ricardo Castro

Anurag Chaudhry

Amy Clark

Derek Decker

Photo of J.P. Delplanque J.P. Delplanque

Jean-Pierre Delplanque received a Master’s of Science from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France in 1987. He received a Master’s of Science and Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of California at Irvine in 1989 and 1993, respectively. He has been a professor at the University of California at Davis since 2004. His research interests include MicroBioFluidics, indoor microclimates, PVD/CVD, aerosol, spray and droplet based processes, and particle-laden reacting flows.

Neil Fligstein

Photo of Jeffrey Gibeling Jeffrey Gibeling

Jeff Gibeling received his Bachelor’s of Science, Master’s of Science, and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1974, 1975, and 1979, respectively. He is now a professor and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of California at Davis. His research interests include creep properties of materials, fatigue and fracture of materials, materials science, mechanical properties of materials, and metal matrix composites.

Photo of Niels Gronbech Jensen Niels Gronbech Jensen

Niels Gronbech Jensen received his Master’s in Applied Mathematical Physics from the Technical University of Denmark in 1989. He also received his Ph.D. in Physics there in 1991. He is now a professor of Applied Science at the University of California at Davis and a faculty scientist at NERSC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research interests include atomic scale materials modeling, particle representation of matter, and the dynamics and dynamical systems.

Photo of Joanna Groza Joanna Groza

Joanna Groza received her Ph.D. from the Polytechnic Institute, Bucharest, in 1972. She is now a professor in the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at University of California at Davis. Her research interests include electrical field/current activated sintering, control of Field Activated Sintering Technique process, sintering of nanocrystalline materials, and abnormal grain growth in polymorphic materials.

Bernd Hamann

Bernd Hamann received a B.S. in computer science, a B.S. in mathematics, and an M.S. in computer science from the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Arizona State University in 1991. He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the IEEE Technical Committee on Visualization and Graphics (TCVG). His research interests include visualization, geometric modeling,  computer graphics, and immersive environments.

E. Holm

Photo of David Horsely David Horsely

David Horsely received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California at Berkeley in 1992, 1994, and 1998, respectively. He is now an assistant professor in the department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at University of California at Davis. His research interests include micro electo-mechanical systems, optical micro electro-mechanical systems, sensors, and mechatronics and automatic control.

Photo of Bryan Jenkins Bryan Jenkins

Tina Jeoh

Byoungseon Jeon

George Kaschner

M. Kuruvilla

Lucas Parent

Julie Schoenung

T. S. Srivatsan

Shankar Subramaniam

Dan Thoma

Tien Tran

Tilahun Yilma

Weixiang Zhao

Yizhang Zhou

Photo of Yuntian Zhu Yuntian Zhu

Yuntian Zhu earned his Bachelor’s in Metallurgy from the Hefei University of Technology, China, in 1983. He received a Master’s degree in Science Engineering from both the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1988 and the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology in 1991.  He received his Ph.D. in Science Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994. His research focuses on two major nano-related areas: metal and alloys with nano/ultrafine-grain structures, and synthesis and applications of carbon nanotube.

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