Reliability and Lifetime Performance of Materials Systems

Materials systems need to perform reliably throughout their entire lifetime—and the longer their lifetime, the more useful they are. By studying the way systems perform, degrade and fail over time, we can optimize the systems we build to work better and longer. Utilizing data science and modeling, we integrate measurements of structural evolution to study and explore the properties of interface-rich materials, which result in the ultimate lifetime of materials systems. By replicating in the lab the lifetime wear of stressors such as sun, heat, moisture and even the complex landscape within the human body, we can track and predict how different systems will degrade over time, and how their performance will be affected.

Looking across materials systems, from metals, polymers, ceramics and composites, our research has advanced the performance of thin films for photovoltaic solar panels, catheter wires, brain electrodes, building envelopes, steel alloys and more. We determine which mechanism dictates the lifetime performance and assess how to strengthen the weakest link. From single-crystal turbine blades for more efficient wind turbines to transparent conductive oxides for devices, and even ensuring the reliability of additively manufactured parts produced in high-volume runs, we develop materials solutions that make a difference. We combine perspectives of how old materials have aged in the field with predictions of how new materials will perform years in the future.

Institutes, centers and labs related to Reliability and Lifetime Performance of Materials Systems

Solar Panel and Sunflower

SDLE Research Center

Studies solar photovoltaic and other outdoor exposed technologies using degradation science, data science and analytics.


Mesoscale Science Lab

Creates experimental techniques to develop a physical understanding of processing-structure-property relationships of crystalline and amorphous materials

Faculty who conduct research in Reliability and Lifetime Performance of Materials Systems

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Laura Bruckman

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Develops predictive lifetime models for materials degradation related to stress conditions and induced degradation mechanisms evaluated by quantitative spectroscopic characterization of materials

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Jennifer Carter

Faculty Director, SCSAM
Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

deformation mechanisms of metals and metal-matrix composites; fatigue, fracture, and creep; failure analysis; electron microscopy; 3D microscopy; novel methodologies for multi-scale material characterization; data science and analytics; open science

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Mark De Guire

Professor Emeritus, Materials Science and Engineering

Analyzes performance of ceramics in energy applications, including fuel cells and oxygen transport membranes

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Roger French

Kyocera Professor
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Director, SDLE Research Center

Applies data science and analytics to energy and materials science research problems

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Peter Lagerlof

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Develops a unified theory for plastic deformation via slip and deformation twinning

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John Lewandowski

Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering II
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Nitinol Commercialization Accelerator
Director, Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability Center (AMMRC)

Researches material reliability for biomedical and structural applications, advanced materials manufacturing and processing/microstructure/property relationships. Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing.

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Matthew Willard

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Investigates phase transformations and materials processing, especially their impact on structure and properties of materials