Huddleston defends PhD dissertation

On April 20, William Huddleston successfully defended his PhD dissertation, “Effects of processing conditions and microstructure development on multifunctionality of lithium titanate - nickel composites.”

Huddleston’s research for his dissertation focused on developing multifunctional energy storage, a task that he described as “low probability, high reward,” with a goal of satisfying design goals for the next generation of electrified aircraft propulsion systems. He incorporated fundamentals of ceramics processing, electrochemistry, fracture mechanics, and microstructural analysis. “I had to read a lot of literature on various topics including solid oxide fuel cells and structural ceramics to better understand and relate various multifunctional concepts,” he said.

Originally from Murfreesboro, Tenn., Huddleston is particularly proud of publishing articles in academic journals and winning awards for his presentations at various conferences, including winning the student oral presentation contest at the 2021 Electronic Materials and Applications conference. He thanked his advisor, Associate Professor Alp Sehirlioglu, for being “someone who always pushed me to be better.”

While in high school, Huddleston’s chemistry teacher noticed his enthusiasm in the hands-on labs in class and suggested that he consider majoring in materials science. Huddleston went on to earn his B.S. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. Primarily interested in processing and characterizing functional ceramics for energy storage units, such as batteries and fuel cells, Huddleston hopes to eventually “develop novel energy storage and conversion materials for improved sustainability and performance of aircraft.”

After he graduates from CWRU in May 2021 with his PhD, Huddleston, his fiancee Emily, and their cat and two dogs will head to Dayton, Ohio, where he has accepted a position as a postdoctoral researcher at University of Dayton Research Institute.