MSE Department Holds 41st Annual Hilliard Symposium

The event honors the memory of Professor John E. Hilliard and included a keynote address from David Snydacker (PhD ‘16)

On May 15, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern Engineering held the 41st Annual John E. Hilliard Lecture and Symposium. Organized by Professor Derk Joester, the event opened with a welcome from department chair Mark Hersam, followed by student presentations.

The symposium’s keynote address was delivered by David Snydacker (PhD ’16), founder and CEO of Lilac Solutions, a lithium extraction company based in Oakland, California. Lilac designs, builds, and operates ion exchange systems to increase production of lithium raw materials for the battery industry. 

The symposium was followed by the annual Materials Science and Engineering Awards Banquet, where Lyle Schwartz (’59, PhD ’64) received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award. Schwartz earned his BS in engineering science and PhD in materials science from Northwestern. He then served as professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern and director of the University’s Materials Research Center, before directing the Materials Science and Engineering Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and then serving as director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Following his 2004 retirement, Schwartz helped lead the development of a major materials-based STEM education program for high school children and their teachers. In 2014, he joined the University of South Florida as a member of the Institute for Advanced Discovery and Innovation.

From left to right: Grace Xiong, David Garcia, Anushka Dasgupta, Clement Ekaputra, Joanna Ciatti, Cory Thomas, Leah Borgsmiller, Yukun Liu, Adetoya Adekoya, Professor Derk Joester, Eric Viklund. Missing: Whitney Tso, Sarah Boyer, Dingchang Zhang, and Doruk Cezan.

Deep Jariwala (PhD ’15) accepted the Early Career Achievement Award. Jariwala is an associate professor and the Peter & Susanne Armstrong Distinguished Scholar in Electrical and Systems Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests broadly lie at the intersection of new materials, surface science and solid-state devices for computing, opto-electronics, and energy harvesting.

Along with Snydacker, 14 graduate students delivered presentations. They were:

Adetoye Adekoya – G. Jeffrey Snyder Group
“A CALPHAD Approach to Modeling Defects in Semiconductors”

Leah Borgsmiller – G. Jeffrey Snyder Group
“The Impact of Secondary Phases on the High-performing Thermoelectric Material Yb14MnSb11”

Sarah Boyer — Derk Joester Group 
“Semantic Segmentation and Automated Quantification of Enamel Caries” 

Joanna Ciatti – John Rogers Group 
“A Closed-Loop Device for Opioid Overdose Detection and Rescue”

Doruk Cezan – Samuel Stupp Group
“Fast Photoactuation and Phototactic Swimming in Hybrid Hydrogels: Integrating the Dynamic Behavior of Supramolecular Polymers into Covalent Networks”

Anushka Dasgupta – Mark Hersam Group
“Chemo-mechanical Modification of Quantum Emission in Monolayer WSe2”

Clement Ekaputra – David Dunand Group
“Hierarchical Strengthening of Cast Al Alloys for High- temperature Applications”

David Garcia – Michael Bedzyk Group 
“X-ray Diffraction Investigation of Hydride Precipitates in Niobium Thin Films”

Yukun Liu – Vinayak Dravid Group
“Entropy-Engineered Thermoelectrics: The Role of Symmetry- Driven Microstructure and Transport Property Evolution”

Cory Thomas — Mark Hersam Group 
“Earth-Abundant Kaolinite Nanoplatelet Gel Electrolytes for Solid-State Lithium Metal Batteries”

Whitney Tso — David Seidman Group
“Accelerated Development of Co-based Superalloys for High- temperature Applications”

Eric Viklund – David Seidman Group
“Advancements Toward High Gradient Nb3Sn Thin-Film Super Conducting Radiofrequency Cavities”  

Grace Xiong – Sossina Haile Group
“Hydrogen Position Determination in the Cubic Superprotonic Structure Using Cs2(HSO4)(H2PO4) Single Crystals”

Dingchang Zhang — David Dunand Group 
“3D Printing of a Monocrystalline YBa2Cu3O7-x Superconductor”

Borgsmiller, Ciatti, and Garcia received first-, second-, and third-place awards, respectively. The winners were recognized at the banquet. 

McCormick News Article