Ricardo Castro, currently with UC Davis, to take Lehigh MSE helm on April 1, 2023

Ricardo H.R. Castro, an award-winning researcher in the field of nanomaterials and a forward-thinking educator, is joining the Lehigh University faculty, and will assume the role of chair of its Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) as of April 1, 2023.

Castro will succeed current department chair Wojciech Z. Misiolek, the Lowey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. Misiolek, who also directs Lehigh’s Loewy Institute, will continue to conduct research, teach, and advise students across his appointments in the MSE and mechanical engineering and mechanics departments.

“I am very excited that Ricardo will be joining the Lehigh faculty and the Rossin College leadership team,” says Steve DeWeerth, professor and dean of the Rossin College. “His passion for education and research in the field, particularly through his recent efforts in graduate studies, is undeniable. I am grateful to Wojtek for his leadership of the department, and I look forward to working with Ricardo to continue to elevate and expand the opportunities for materials research and education at Lehigh.”

Centered in ceramics

Currently serving as the Chancellor’s Leadership Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California-Davis, Castro leads the Nanoceramics Thermochemistry Laboratory in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His work focuses on the fundamental understanding of nanomaterials and their behavior under processing and service in extreme environments, such as high temperatures, complex chemistries, and radiation.

Castro’s research group seeks to understand nanoscale effects in ceramic materials and composites and how to optimally process these materials to control their nanoscale behavior. By using a combination of structural characterization techniques, including microcalorimetry and high-resolution electron microscopy, the Castro group has advanced processing techniques to create samples with unique mechanical properties and tolerance to irradiation-induced defects. Castro and his team are interested in understanding the stability of nanostructures, which has led to a solid theoretical framework for the design of nanocrystalline ceramics that are well suited for extreme-temperature and -chemical applications.

About Ricardo Castro

Ricardo Castro holds a B.Sc. in molecular sciences and a PhD in metallurgical and materials engineering from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. He has received several national and international awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, DOE Early Career Program Award, the Young Investigator Award from the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), the Sosman Award by the Calorimetry Conference, the respected Robert L. Coble Award from the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), among others.

Castro is a Fellow of ACerS, principal editor for the Journal of Materials Research, and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Ceramic Engineering and Science published by ACerS/Wiley. From 2018 to 2021, Castro served as the associate dean of research and graduate studies for the UC Davis College of Engineering, leading the development, coordination, and overall advancement of its engineering graduate and research programs.

(Photos courtesy of UC Davis/CC BY 2.0)

Wojciech Z. Misiolek

Wojciech Z. Misiolek, the Lowey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, will complete his service as chair of the Rossin College's MSE department in Spring 2023.

Ricardo Castro photo courtesy of UC Davis

Castro's research group at UC Davis seeks to understand nanoscale effects in ceramic materials and composites and how to optimally process these materials to control their nanoscale behavior. (Photos courtesy of UC Davis/CC BY 2.0)