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

  • 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

  • Voorhees, P.W.; Johnson, A.E., “A phase-field model for grain growth with trijunction drag”, Acta Materialia, (2014)
  • Thornton, K.; Voorhees, P.W.; Gulsoy, E.B.; Park, C.-L.; Fife, J.L., “The dynamics of interfaces during coarsening in solid-liquid systems”, Acta Materialia, (2014)
  • Thornton, K.; Voorhees, P.W.; Park, C.-L., “Application of the level-set method to the analysis of an evolving microstructure”, Computational Materials Science, (2014)
  • Lu, Yunxiang; Kreller, Cortney R.; Adler, Stuart B.; Wilson, James R.; Barnett, Scott A., “Performance Variability and Degradation in Porous La1-xSrxCoO3-delta Electrodes”, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, (2014)
  • Voorhees, P.W.; Gulsoy, E.B.; Duval, W.M.B.; Hawersaat, R.W.; Lorik, T., “Coarsening in solid-liquid mixtures: Overview of experiments on shuttle and ISS”, Materials Science and Technology Conference and Exhibition 2013, MS and T 2013, (2014)
  • Voorhees, Peter W.; Gulsoy, Emine Begum; Shahani, Ashwin J.; Gibbs, John W.; Fife, Julie L., “Four-dimensional morphological evolution of an aluminum silicon alloy using propagation-based phase contrast x-ray tomographic microscopy”, Materials Transactions, (2014)
  • Voorhees, Peter W.; Gamalski, Andrew D.; Ducati, Caterina; Sharma, Renu; Hofmann, Stephan, “Twin plane re-entrant mechanism for catalytic nanowire growth”, Nano Letters, (2014)
  • Voorhees, Peter W.; Davis, Stephen H.; Muralidharan, Srevatsan, “Nonaxisymmetric droplet unpinning in vapor-liquid-solid-grown nanowires”, Journal of Applied Physics, (2013)