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New Frontiers for Materials for Health, Energy and the Environment

April 21, 2017 | 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM
Woolf Hall 402 | Seminar Flyer

Seminar Speaker

Dr. Wole Soboyejo

Dean of Engineering and Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Program, Departments of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Joint Seminar by the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This talk presents some new frontiers for multifunctional materials that address some global grand challenges in health, energy and the environment. The talk is divided into three parts. In the first part, a combination of theoretical models and experiments is used to provide new insight for the design of nanoparticles and biomedical devices for the specific detection and localized treatment of breast cancer. The entry of the nanoparticles and the localized delivery of heat and drugs are then elucidated using a combination of thermodynamics and kinetic models. In the second part of the talk, pressure-assisted techniques are presented for the fabrication of low-cost organic solar cells and light emitting devices. The pressure induced changes in polymer structure and the increase in surface contacts are shown to promote improvements in charge and light transport that lead to improvements in device efficiency. A case study is then presented to show how the applications of solar cells and light emitting devices can be enhanced in rural villages. Finally, in the third part of the talk, the insights from theoretical/computational and experimental studies of thermostructural materials are used to guide the design of environmentally-friendly materials for affordable housing, energy storage and water purification. The potential social impacts of the work are then discussed for sustainable development in the developed and the developing worlds.


Wole Soboyejo received his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from King’s College London in 1985. He then went on to Cambridge University where he obtained a PhD in materials science in 1988. He moved to the U.S. in 1988 to work as a Research Scientist at the McDonnell Douglas Research Labs until 1992. He worked briefly as a Principal Research Engineer at the Edison Welding Institute (EWI) in 1992 before joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University. He was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1996. Between 1997 and 1998, he was a Visiting Martin Luther King Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. In 1999, Prof. Soboyejo left The Ohio State University to become a full professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He also served as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Materials as well as the Director of the US/Africa Materials Institute at Princeton University. Between 2012 and 2014, Prof. Soboyejo served as the President of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) in Abuja, Nigeria. He is currently the Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Prof. Soboyejo is the recipient of two National Young Investigator Awards (ONR and NSF), the Lumley Research Award for Research and Innovation from Princeton University, and the Bradley Stoughton Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Materials Science. He is the author of three textbooks and more than 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals.