Colloquia & Seminars
John E. Hilliard Lecture & Symposium


John HilliardJohn E. Hilliard joined the Northwestern faculty in 1962 and taught here for the next quarter century. Born and educated in the United Kingdom, he received a PhD from the University of Liverpool. There followed a postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and six years at the General Electric Research Laboratory before he came to Northwestern.

Professor Hilliard was an inspiring teacher for not only his students but also his colleagues and the wider metallurgical community. His work included four areas of research: the study of the thermodynamic and kinetic processes in inhomogeneous systems; the quantitative characterization of structure; the theoretical and experimental study of spinodal decomposition; and the synthesis and investigation of compositionally modulated films. The last two areas represent pioneering work cited with enormous frequency.

The John E. Hilliard Symposium

The John E. Hilliard Symposium is the Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s annual capstone event, where we highlight the original research of senior graduate students. Now in its 31st year, the symposium encourages communication between the department and representatives of companies and agencies that support our work. It is also an opportunity to welcome back alumni who are in the audience.

The John E. Hilliard Memorial Lecture

The Hilliard Memorial Lecture is given by recipients of honorary doctoral degrees from Northwestern University who have been nominated by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Previous Speakers

Grace Wang, National Science Foundation
"Serendipity in Engineering: What did the Past Teach Us about the Future?
May 20, 2015

Andrea Hodge
"Can "Nano" Save the World or will it Just Make it Smaller?"
May 15, 2014

Todd Steyer, The Boeing Company
"Materials: An Aerospace Perspective"
May 16, 2013

John Cahn, University of Washington
"Fifty Years Since Hilliard Made All Things Diffuse at NU: The Joys and Never-Ending Challenges of Diffuse Interfaces"
May 17, 2012

Dmitry Shashkov, H.C. Starck's Inc.
"Engineer in Business: Notes from 'The Dark Side"
May 19, 2011

Charles Kuehmann, QuesTek Innovations
"Making Cyber Steels Fly"
May 20, 2010

Joanna Mirecki Millunchick, University of Michigan
"Directing Self Assembly and Defect Formation in Compound Semiconductors"
May 14, 2009

Christopher Schuh, MIT
"From the Ivory Tower to the Factory Floor: and NU Metallurgist Tries to Vertically Integrate"
May 15, 2008

Boris Vuchic, Pennant Capital
"From Y-Ba-Cu-O to Wall Street: Observations from a Random Walk into the Investment World"
May 17, 2007