Facilities and Research

The MSE Department Faculty maintains a variety of research laboratories user facilities. These facilities can be accessed by all CWRU students and faculty, and can be accessed for hire by companies.


These research area's can be divided into three main thrusts:

Materials Applications

Materials Characterization


Materials Applications:

The Ohio Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (Ohio-WERC) Center

Dr. David Matthiesen is the director of the The Ohio Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (Ohio-WERC) Center. Ohio-WERC is comprised of three wind turbines, part of a $3 million Ohio Department of Development Third Frontier Wright Project. The WERC Center's goal is to combine CWRU engineering expertise with funded facilities to provide platforms for the development of wind power supply chain products and long-term educational and training opportunities.

Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Center

The Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Center at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is a world-class research center dedicated to lifetime and degradation science. Established in 2011 by Professor Roger French, the SDLE Center focuses on the durability and degradation of solar photovoltaic (PV) materials, and other environmentally exposed, long lived technologies.

Electro-Ceramics for Sustainable Energy Solutions

Our research interests are on functional materials that actively contribute to the application (i.e. thermoelectrics and piezoelectrics), rather than passive materials that are generally structural in nature. We concentrate on two paths of research: (i) applying materials technology to real life applications and (ii) developing new materials for extreme environmental conditions. Our objective is to investigate fundamental sciences and develop next generation materials and devices that will integrate physics and materials with other engineering fields such as mechanical and electrical engineering.

Materials Characterization

Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials

SCSAM is a multi-user analytical facility providing instrumentation for microstructural characterization of materials as well as surface and near-surface chemical analysis. The facilities in SCSAM are available to all users on campus at a Federally approved use charge. The equipment is maintained by six full-time engineers. The facility is currently directed by Dr. Arthur Heuer.

Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability Center

AMMRC was established in 1987 by Dr. Lewandowski to provide advanced manufacturing (e.g. deformation processing, extrusion, forming, etc.) and mechanical characterization (e.g. mechanical testing, reliability testing, fatigue, etc.) expertise to the CWRU campus, medical, industrial, legal, outside university, and government laboratory communities. Materials systems that have been investigated span the range of organic and inorganic materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, electronic materials, and biomedical materials systems.

In general, the Center is capable of mechanically evaluating and deformation processing materials that range in size scale from the micrometer range up through bulk quantities. This unique facility enables mechanical characterization at loading rates as low as one micrometer/hour up through impact (e.g. 3-4 meters/sec) at temperatures ranging from -196C (i.e liquid nitrogen) up to 1400C.  Monotonic as well as cyclic fatigue testing are possible in addition to evaluations of mechanical behavior and processing with superimposed pressures up to 2 GPa.  Deformation processing is possible on novel forging, forming, and extrusion equipment. 

Magnetic Materials Characterization Laboratory

This laboratory, established by Dr. Willard, has world class magnetometry facilities and unique measurement capabilities to aid in materials discovery and general magnetic material investigations.  A Lakeshore Model 4710 Vibrating Sample Magnetometer with high temperature furnace capability enables the measurement of quasi-static hysteresis loops, thermomagnetic measurements, and various other magnetic materials analyses.  We can measure powders, thin films, and bulk samples in fields up to 3.1 Tesla at room temperature or 2.3 Tesla with the oven inserted.  Other measurement capabilities are in progress, including unique techniques for measurement of magnetostriction and AC core losses.


The metallography Lab is a centrallized facility for all CWRU materials students for polishing and preparing samples for optical and electron microscopy. The facility contains automated grinding and polishing equipment, sample mounting equipment and low-damage cutting equipment


Materials processing forms the basics of all manufacturing. The CWRU MSE faculty maintain a variety of materials processing facilities related to their fields of research.