Faculty Directory
Peter W. Voorhees

Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 2036
Evanston, IL 60208

Email Peter Voorhees


Voorhees Research Group


Materials Science and Engineering

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Ph.D. Materials Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

B.S. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Research Interests

The Voorhees research group is focused on the kinetics of phase transformations using experiment, simulation, and theory.  These phase transformations range from the growth of nanowires from the vapor and graphene, to the solidification of alloys.  We measure the evolution of interfacial morphology during phase transformations using techniques such as time resolved three-dimensional X-ray tomography and automated serial sectioning.  Our recent studies on simulations of phase transformations include work on a method to follow the atomic structure of a material on diffusional time scales and the growth of oxides on metal surfaces.  We also combine the experiments with simulations by using the measured three-dimensional interfacial morphologies as initial conditions in simulations and then comparing the results of the simulations and experiment at some later time.  Through our involvement in Northwestern’s Center for Hierarchical Materials Design, we use these models to design materials with novel properties, such as Si-based insitu composite materials.

Significant Recognition

  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016
  • Fellow, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, 2013
  • J. Willard Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award, ASM International, 2013
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, Material Physics Division, 2005
  • Highly Cited Researcher, Institute for Scientific Information, 2002
  • Fellow, ASM International, 2001
  • Materials Science and Engineering Teacher of the Year, 1999
  • Outstanding Referee, Acta Materialia, 1998
  • ASM International Materials Science Division Research Award (Silver Medal), 1992
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science Award for Teaching Excellence, 1992
  • Acta Metallurgica et Materialia Outstanding Paper Award, 1991
  • Materials Science and Engineering Teacher of the Year, 1989, 1990
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1989

Significant Professional Service

  • Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, 2000
  • National Science Foundation Creativity Extension, 1999

Selected Publications

  • S. O. Poulsen, P. W. Voorhees, “Early stage phase separation in ternary alloys”, Acta Materialia, (2016)
  • David Kennouche, Yu Chen Karen Chen-Wiegart, Kyle J. Yakal-Kremski, Jun Wang, John W. Gibbs, Peter W. Voorhees, Scott A. Barnett, “Observing the microstructural evolution of Ni-Yttria-stabilized zirconia solid oxide fuel cell anodes”, Acta Materialia, (2016)
  • Jrme Colin, Peter W. Voorhees, “Morphological instability of a solid sphere of dilute ternary alloy growing by diffusion from its melt”, Journal of Crystal Growth, (2016)
  • Qian Zhang, Jean Nol Aqua, Peter W. Voorhees, Stephen H. Davis, “Mechanisms of morphological evolution on faceted core-shell nanowire surfaces”, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, (2016)
  • Devin T. O'Connor, Michael J. Welland, Wing Kam Liu, Peter W. Voorhees, “Phase transformation and fracture in single LixFePO4 cathode particles”, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, (2016)
  • Ashwin J. Shahani, E. Begum Gulsoy, Stefan O. Poulsen, Xianghui Xiao, Peter W. Voorhees, “Twin-mediated crystal growth”, Scientific Reports, (2016)
  • M. M. Moghadam, E. L. Pang, T. Philippe, P. W. Voorhees, “Simulation of phase transformation kinetics in thin films under a constant nucleation rate”, Thin Solid Films, (2016)
  • John D. Thompson, E. Begum Gulsoy, Peter W. Voorhees, “Self-similar coarsening”, Acta Materialia, (2015)