One Thing Leads to Another

Novel methods for making ceramics could abate environmental problems

Last year, as the pandemic roiled through academia, B. Reeja Jayan quietly contemplated how to manufacture new ceramic materials that could mitigate environmental problems.

Jayan is an associate mechanical engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and her novel approaches to ceramics research has made her contemporaries take note. So much so that Jayan and Jian Luo, a colleague from the University of California San Diego, were invited to guest edit the January 2021 issue of MRS Bulletin, the flagship journal of the Materials Research Society. The issue examined the synthesis and processing of ceramics under electric and electromagnetic fields.

Each issue of MRS Bulletin has a theme, and the society invites experts in particular topics to guest edit. The society helps shape the direction that the scientific community takes in terms of pursuing advanced materials research, and Jayan has a lot to add to the conversation. She’s made a breakthrough in our understanding of how microwaves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, affect materials chemistry, and it’s laying the groundwork for energy efficient methods to engineer tailor-made ceramic materials that have new electronic, thermal and mechanical properties.

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