About Us

Message from the Interim Chair

Welcome Interim Chair Fumio Ohuchi

Fumio Ohuchi I am honored to serve as Interim Chair for UW Materials Science & Engineering. I wish to take a moment to introduce myself and share with you some information about our department’s next steps.

At the beginning of December, Alex Jen retired from the University of Washington and began a new adventure as the Provost for City University in Hong Kong. During Alex’s 12 years as Chair we saw innumerable improvements in all aspects of our department ranging from increased research funding, better equipment and facilities to increasing our student numbers and recruiting and retaining high caliber faculty. As Interim Chair I will work hard to continue this forward momentum and enable a smooth hand-off to our future Chair.

A little background information about me: I received my bachelor's and master’s degrees in physics from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan and earned my Ph.D. in Materials Science at the University of Florida in 1981. I worked at the Experimental Station of DuPont Company as a staff scientist for 10 years, and joined the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Washington in 1992. My research interest is to investigate the material’s surfaces and interfaces under extreme conditions.



Fumio S. Ohuchi
Interim Chair and Professor


Welcome to Material Science & Engineering

Just as the materials science and engineering field impacts nearly every aspect of modern society, our faculty’s diverse research expertise and academic/industrial experience allows them to play important roles in catalyzing cross-boundary collaborations that are critical to identifying fundamental engineering problems, sharing best practices and novel approaches, and supporting interdisciplinary education among UW, industry, academia and government laboratories. This vigorous effort has resulted in several federally funded large research initiatives in photonics, biomimetics, energy, medicine, and nanotechnology.

Our faculty have also been well-recognized by professional societies and federal funding agencies. Three of them have been named as Highly Cited Researchers by Thomson Reuters , which represents the world’s most influential scientific minds that are ranked among the top 1% within their subject field. The Global Research Report published in 2011 by Thomson Reuters also ranked UW as #1 in citation impact among worldwide academic institutions publishing materials science papers between 2001 and 2010. All these distinctions attest to the scientific excellence and impact generated by our faculty’s creative research.

Our students are well-recognized academically. Two of our recent graduates were awarded College of Engineering Dean’s medals, the highest honor the COE can bestow on an undergraduate student. Many of our graduates are admitted into top-caliber graduate schools – such as MIT, Berkeley, UCSB, University of Illinois, and Northwestern – and launch their careers in companies that lead the world in research and development, such as Boeing, Intel and Micron.

Our research is developing innovative technology in areas such as ultra-high-speed information processing, biomedical imaging, drug delivery, printable solar cells, rechargeable batteries, chemical separation membranes, and manufacturing processes. Faculty – working closely with graduate students and postdocs – have launched 11 start-up companies. The significant licensing revenue from these companies allows the UW to further invest on cutting-edge research and education and cultivates many new job opportunities for our students. As a whole, the department has been issued 80 patents, with many more pending.

With a small but internationally recognized faculty, UW-MSE is committed to being both a leader and the focal point in materials related breakthroughs. We look to capitalize on exciting new opportunities to further improve the recognition and impact of our department in the future.