Frank Ernst named chair of Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Frank Ernst, Leonard Case Jr. Professor, has been named chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
After graduating with a PhD from the University of Göttingen, Germany, Ernst first came to the Case School of Engineering as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 1987. He returned to Germany, his native country, in 1989, where he spent the next 12 years working as a researcher for the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung in Stuttgart and as a lecturer at the University of Stuttgart, before returning to Case Western Reserve in 2000 as a professor of materials science.

An esteemed scholar, he has extensive research expertise in surface engineering of alloys as well as materials applications in the field of advanced energy, including fuel cell catalyst nanoparticles, solid-oxide fuel cells and photovoltaic thin films. Ernst is also an expert in microcharacterization of materials, particularly in advanced techniques of transmission electron microscopy. He has held leadership roles in key university research facilities, including serving as co-director of the Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials and director of the Case Center for Surface Engineering.
“Frank is an accomplished scholar and a field-leading researcher who excels in connecting basic science discoveries to real-world applications,” says Jeffrey L. Duerk, dean of the Case School of Engineering. “His ability to link new knowledge to vital topics in industry like advanced manufacturing and energy—key areas of research and leadership for our materials science department—makes him an ideal fit for this role.”
Ernst has published more than 200 papers, articles and book chapters, holds seven patents and has served as a consultant for numerous private companies and government organizations. He is an equally accomplished educator—he has received multiple teaching awards from the Case School of Engineering and has been nominated for university-wide honors for excellence in undergraduate teaching.