University of Washington Materials Science & Engineering
Quarterly E-Newsletter: Spring 2017
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Dear UW MSE Community,

One of the things I enjoy most about Materials Science & Engineering is the range and variety of research and application. At UW MSE we have world class researchers working on medical and dental health, clean energy, efficient manufacturing processes, and beyond. Our research will change the world by improving chemotherapy delivery systems for better cancer treatment; creating faster, cost effective ways to manufacture solar cells; making better, longer lasting batteries; and more.

The U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best Graduate School rankings rated our graduate program 22nd in the country. This is one of our highest rankings in the last 10 years and shows a strong upward trend that we will work hard to carry on. We will continue to offer excellent education, high quality research opportunities, and access to state of the art equipment.

Recently, our friends at the Clean Energy Institute celebrated the opening of the new Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. Under the technical direction of MSE Professor Devin MacKenzie, the innovative facility provides users with customized training and instrumentation for clean energy technology fabrication, characterization, and systems integration. We are excited for our students, faculty, and researchers to have the opportunity to utilize the equipment in this facility in addition to the other quality facilities available in MSE and through our many partnerships on campus.

I am honored to serve as Interim Chair as our department continues to expand and improve through the hard work and dedication of our faculty, students, and staff. Our search for a new Chair is ongoing. For more information about the position, please see our posting on the UW Academic HR website.
Fumio Ohuchi
Interim Chair and Professor
Professor Devin MacKenzie shows Washington Gov. Jay Inslee equipment at the opening of the new Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. Photo by Matt Hagen.
New clean energy facility accelerates testing of cleantech innovations and launching of companies

A new facility for accelerating the clean energy innovation cycle opened in Seattle February 16, 2017. The Clean Energy Institute, a research unit at the University of Washington, created the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds to increase the rate at which breakthrough science and engineering discoveries turn into market-adopted clean energy technologies. The state-of-the-art user facility has labs for manufacturing prototypes, testing devices and integrating systems. CEI unveiled the Testbeds at a celebration with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, cleantech leaders and clean energy researchers.

MSE Professor Devin MacKenzie, a seasoned cleantech entrepreneur and global expert in electronic materials and emerging manufacturing methods for energy devices, displays and communication, will lead the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds. MacKenzie has founded and led five startup companies and holds over 110 patents and publications. In addition to leading the Testbeds and teaching at UW, he is currently the chief technical officer of Imprint Energy, a UC Berkeley spinout developing flexible, high-energy batteries based on large-area print manufacturing.

Hinds Group (left to right): Dan Shea, Susrut Akkineni, Prof. Bruce Hinds, Lily Berger, Alex Peek, Maanas Maheshwari, Dr. Guarav Gulati
Hinds Lab pioneering efforts to improve kidney dialysis

Bruce Hinds' research group is pioneering efforts in "active" membranes that selectively electro-pump target bio-molecules. During dialysis, this will allow recovery of important nutrients and proteins for chemical balance, and can be contained in a compact device.

UW researcher pursues synthetic 'scaffolds' for muscle regeneration

Miqin Zhang, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, is looking for ways to help the body heal itself when injury, disease or surgery cause large-scale damage to one type of tissue in particular: skeletal muscle. Muscles have a limited ability to regenerate, repair and realign themselves properly after certain types of damage.

Zhang and her team are taking a synthetic approach to muscle regeneration. Their goal is to create a synthetic, porous, biologically compatible “scaffold” that mimics the normal extracellular environment of skeletal muscle — onto which human cells could migrate and grow new replacement fibers.


Professors Majumdar and Xu discover an important first step towards building electrically pumped nano-lasers

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics Arka Majumdar, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Physics Xiaodong Xu and their team have discovered an important first step towards building electrically pumped nanolasers (or light-based sources). These lasers are critical in the development of integrated photonic based short-distance optical interconnects and sensors.

No more needle and thread? This startup is developing a high-tech replacement for stitches.

KitoTech Medical, which spun out of UW in 2013 and was co-founded by former MSE Professor Marco Rolandi, just finished raising $525,000 to fund the launch of microMend, a wound-closing device that it says works better than traditional sutures. That brings this startup's total funding to date to $3.25 million, with plans to raise more as it approaches a commercial launch.

MSE Alum Dan Sedlacek. Photo courtesy of University of Washington and Uphill Designs
Materials Science & Engineering alum Dan Sedlacek (MSMSE ’14) combined his love of nature with his engineering studies to create Uphill Designs, a Seattle adventure goods company.

Grounded in the belief that adventure is at the root of living fully, Uphill Designs builds product and community for the modern adventurer. Their offerings include canvas bags, leather goods and bamboo trekking poles. Each piece is crafted from start to finish in their Fremont workshop.

Dan runs Uphill Designs with his partner and Bioengineering alumna, Mallory Monahan (MS ’15) and with assistance from UW undergraduate Oliver Marczynski. Dan recently sat down with us to talk about their work and how his background in MSE provides the foundation for their products.

Whitening Lozenge Team members (left to right): Sanaz Saadat (grad student, Oral Health Sciences), Sami Dogan (Assistant Professor and Clinician, Restorative Dentistry), Mehmet Sarikaya (Professor and PI, MSE), Deniz Yucesoy (MSE grad student and The Catalyst Lead, MSE), and Hanson Fong (Research Scientist, MSE).
MSE graduate student wins Amazon Catalyst grant

Deniz Yucesoy, a graduate student in MSE's GEMSEC Labs, has been awarded an Amazon Catalyst grant for a project titled "Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Lozenges for Healthy Daily Use."

Current whitening products typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient, which remove discoloration by dissolving stained minerals from the surface of teeth. Although this chemical-etching process reveals a fresh surface, it is often at the expense of removing healthy enamel — the fully mineralized crown of teeth which provides protection and cannot regenerate. As a consequence, the inner layer, dentin, becomes exposed — creating complications, such as hypersensitivity and increased susceptibility to caries (cavities), which, taken together, far outweigh the cosmetic benefits. Newly developed tooth-whitening lozenges dissolve in saliva recruiting calcium and phosphate ions to the surface of teeth and create a new mineral layer through a restorative process thereby eliminating undesirable stains.

When fully developed through the Catalyst Project, whitening lozenges will be used, clinically and over-the-counter product worldwide, for both therapeutic (remineralization) and cosmetic (whitening) purposes providing a safer alternative to the existing peroxide-containing corrosive treatments.
WiMSE members (left to right): Rebeka Khajehpour, Alexandria Leerhof, Jessica Ahrens-Tran,
Eden Rivers, Zack Wolford
New student group aims to create supporting community

MSE students recently formed a new group to promote diversity, equality and peer support among all students in and around the department. The group, Women in Materials Science and Engineering (WiMSE), aims to increase the percentage of women students in the MSE department and contribute to the efforts of increasing departmental diversity by providing a supporting community of undergraduate and graduate student peers. 

The group will perform outreach activities, establish a peer-mentoring circle, organize social activities, conduct monthly meetings, provide members with professional development opportunities and facilitate collaboration with other women’s groups on campus.  Inaugural officers are: Eden Rivers- President, Amy Stegmann- Vice-President, Zack Wolford- Treasurer, Rebeka Khajehpour - Secretary, Alexandra Leerhoff- Webmaster, and Brandon Kern - Social Coordinator.
If you are interested in speaking to this group at one of their meetings, hosting them at your place of employment, requesting their outreach services, or have any questions please contact the Group Adviser Sandra Maddox at
Congratulations to Graduate Adviser Karen Wetterhahn for winning a National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Scholarship for the Region 8 Conference 2017!

Established in 1983, the NACADA Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising honors individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. NACADA is a representative and advocate of academic advising and those providing that service to higher education.
MSE Department Graduation
Saturday, June 10, 2017
9:30-11:30am at Kane Hall 120
Cap and gown is standard attire and can be rented or purchased here.

UW Commencement
Saturday, June 10, 2017
1:30-4:30 p.m. at Husky Stadium
Tickets are required.
From 2012-2016 UW MSE had:
*Stats provided by UW CoMotion
The University of Washington's famous cherry trees are expected to be at full bloom March 26. Check out the live feed: UWTV Cherry Blossom Cam.
The College of Engineering at the University of Washington invites applications and nominations for Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. This tenured, full professor position will lead a department with a long history of dedication to excellence, tremendous growth, and accomplishment in research and scholarship, state-of-the-art facilities, and a vibrant materials community at the university.

Copyright © 2016 UW Materials Science & Engineering, All rights reserved.

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