The Materials Research Society has named David J. Srolovitz of the University of Pennsylvania as the recipient of the 2013 Materials Theory Award for his “decisive and highly influential contributions to the theory and simulation of microstructure, morphological evolution, mechanical behavior, and the structure and dynamics of interfaces.” Srolovitz will be recognized during the award ceremony at the 2013 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston. The Materials Theory Award, endowed by Toh-Ming Lu and Gwo-Ching Wang, “recognizes exceptional advances made by materials theory to the fundamental understanding of the structure and behavior of materials.”Low resolution version High resolution version
Srolovitz received his BS degree in physics from Rutgers University, and his MS and PhD degrees in materials science from the University of Pennsylvania. He recently joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as the Joseph Bordogna Professor of Engineering and Applied Science in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, after serving as the executive director of the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing in Singapore since 2009. Prior to this position he held senior faculty appointments at Yeshiva University, Princeton University, and the University of Michigan, along with many distinguished visiting professorships. He is a Fellow of MRS, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, the Institute of Physics London, and ASM International. For 30 years he has been at the forefront of theoretical and computational materials science, making contributions to a variety of important materials theory problems.Among some of Srolovitz’s seminal contributions is his work on the topology and kinetics of grain growth in polycrystals. Srolovitz and his collaborators were among the first to use Monte Carlo simulation techniques to track the growth and shrinkage of grains in polycrystalline materials during recrystallization and grain growth. Through these simulations, he was able to provide a microscopic picture of these important processes. In further work in this area, especially using sufficiently large systems to capture the behavior of real polycrystalline metals, he was able to link atomic-scale processes to macroscopically observed microstructural behavior.In his early work on surface and thin film morphology, Srolovitz showed that stresses and surface tension can lead to the destabilization and roughening of flat surfaces and the break-up of thin films on substrates. These studies have been corroborated by experimental measurements in a wide range of materials systems and have been the basis for new technologies that exploit these instabilities for surface patterning and the formation of controlled island morphologies. Srolovitz has also worked in the areas of mechanical properties of high-temperature alloys, thin film growth, recrystallization, surface phenomena, phase separation, and energy harvesting.