Dr. Caizhi Zhou, the Roberta and G. Robert Couch Assistant Professor of materials science and engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, recently received the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his work in the field of metallic composites.
Zhou’s work focuses on improving understanding of the underlying mechanisms that control the properties of metallic nanolayered composite materials. To achieve this, Zhou hopes to develop a new way of modeling the mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of composites. The integration of Zhou’s multiscale-modeling approach will allow for one-on-one comparisons between fundamental defect models and deformation experiments on nanostructured materials. This will allow Zhou to test the application of new theories in real materials systems.
“The composites are a special class of materials with ultra-fine layer thicknesses, which imparts unique behaviors onto them,” says Zhou. “They exhibit large increases in strength compared to larger-scale bulk composites and can lead to new performance levels and energy efficiency. This CAREER award supports advancing fundamental knowledge, developing computational tools and providing design guidelines for metallic nanolayered composites with exceptional controllable properties.”
By studying the influence of dislocation-interface interactions on the strength of metallic nanolayered composites, Zhou hopes to further detail the effects of the interface structure and layer thickness on composite instability. He also hopes to identify the role of interface structure and material properties during the bonding process, and uncover the microscopic mechanisms for the deformation behavior of the metals.
Zhou joined the Missouri S&T faculty in 2013. Prior to joining the university, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Zhou earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Iowa State University in 2010. His research interests include atomistic simulation for nanomaterials, finite element modeling of crystal plasticity and friction stir welding for industrial applications.
CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. For more information about the award, visit nsf.gov/awardsearch.