Faculty Directory
Julia Weertman

Walter P. Murphy Professor Emerita of Materials Science and Engineering

Member of the Graduate Faculty


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 2036; Office - Cook 1139
Evanston, IL 60208

Email Julia Weertman


Materials Science and Engineering


Post-doc, Ecole Normal Superieure, Paris, France

D.Sc. Physics, Carnegie Mellon Univeristy, Pittsburgh, PA

M.S. Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

B.S. Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Research Interests

As the dimensions of the grains in a metal drop below ~10-20 nanometers, the number of atoms located at interfaces and grain boundaries becomes an appreciable fraction of the total.  Deformation mechanisms operating in this class of materials are fundamentally different from those in the coarse-grain counterparts. Nanostructured materials are amazingly strong but present challenges in synthesis and especially in devising internal structures that provide sufficient toughness. 

We continue to explore new synthesis methods and advanced characterization techniques to understand how dislocations and grain boundary sliding mechanisms operate at this small size scale where conventional theory breaks down, with the goal of learning how to improve the properties of these materials.  A current thrust is the determination of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline materials and their structural stability under cyclic deformation (i.e., fatigue), an important and typically far more damaging form of service wear.

We are also looking at their microstructural stability under stress. Nanocrystalline grains can undergo rapid growth under stress at room temperature, but counter-intuitively, we found that the growth is even faster at liquid nitrogen temperatures.

Significant Recognition

  • NSF awards for creativity in research, 1981 and 1986
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1986-87
  • Fellow, ASM International, 1988; TMS, 1992; American Academy of Arts and Science, 1997
  • Distinguished Engineering Educator Award of SWE, 1989
  • SWE's highest honor, the Achievement Award, 1991
  • Leadership Award, TMS, 1996
  • Materials Research Society's highest honor, the Von Hipple Award, 2003
  • Gold Medal of ASM International, 2005

Significant Professional Service

  • Member, National Academy of Engineering, 1988
  • Member, National Research Council's National Materials Advisory Board, 1999-2005
  • Institute of Metals/Robert Mehl Lecture, TMS, 2006

Selected Publications

  • C. J. Shute;B. D. Myers;S. Xie;S. -Y. Li;T. W. Barbee, Jr.;A. M. Hodge;J. R. Weertman, “Detwinning, damage and crack initiation during cyclic loading of Cu samples containing aligned nanotwins”, Acta Materialia, (2011)
  • Pratibha L. Gai;Kenta Yoshida;Carla Shute;Xiaoting Jia;Michael Walsh;Michael Ward;Mildred S. Dresselhaus;Julia R. Weertman;Edward D. Boyes, “Probing Structures of Nanomaterials Using Advanced Electron Microscopy Methods, Including Aberration-Corrected Electron Microscopy at the Angstrom Scale”, Microscopy Research and Technique, (2011)
  • Li, S. Y; Weertman, J. R.; Myers, B. D.; Shute, C. J.; Liao, Y., “High Pressure Torsion of Copper Samples Containing Columns of Highly Aligned Nanotwins”, Scripta Materialia, (2011)
  • ... , ED Boyes, PL Gai, JR Weertman, “Aberration-Corrected Electron Microscopy Studies of Novel Nanostructures in Highly Aligned Nano-twinned Metals”, Microscopy and ..., (2010)
  • K Zhang, JR Weertman, JA Eastman, “Rapid stress-driven grain coarsening in nanocrystalline Cu at ambient and cryogenic temperatures”, Applied Physics Letters, (2009)
  • K Zhang, JR Weertman, “Microstructural Changes Produced by Fatigue in High-Purity Copper Severely Deformed by Cryogenic Rolling”, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, (2009)
  • CJ Shute;B Myers;S Xie;TW Barbee;AM Hodge;JR Weertman;JC Grivel;N Hansen;X Huang;DJ Jensen;OV Mishin;SF Nielsen;W Pantleon;H Toftegaard;G Winther;T Yu, “DETWINNING AND CRACK INITIATION DURING CYCLIC LOADING IN MULTILAYER COPPER/COPPER SAMPLES WITH NANOSCALE TWINNING”, Nanostructured Metals: Fundamentals To Applications, (2009)
  • ... Myers, S Xie, TW Barbee Jr, AM Hodge, JR Weertman, “Microstructural stability during cyclic loading of multilayer copper/copper samples with nanoscale twinning”, Scripta materialia, (2009)