University of California, Riverside

Department of Mechanical Engineering

UCR Faculty Member awarded NSF CAREER grant to study and engineer high-toughness, lightweight metallic alloys

UCR Assistant Professor Suveen Mathaudhu earned a NSF CAREER grant to research advanced, high-toughness lightweight metals, and to incorporate this work into his educational and outreach efforts.  grads



RIVERSIDE – Suveen Mathaudhu, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and Materials Science and Engineering Program has recently received an Early Career Faculty Development Program (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The proposal, titled “CAREER: Extreme Toughening of HCP Metallic Alloys via Nanospaced Stacking Faults” will continue for five years, and is expected to total $500,000 in support of research, education and outreach activities. 

 In the study, Mathaudhu and his team will discover and unravel the underlying mechanisms responsible for the formation of novel toughening features within lightweight metals with hexagonal structures (titanium and magnesium), and enable processing methods to realize strategic metallic materials with unprecedented strength and formability.  By engineering metallic alloys that are stronger and tougher, the lightweighting strategies critical for developing vehicles and transportation systems that reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and decrease pollution can be realized.

 “It is a tremendous honor to be selected by NSF and my peers for this significant award” said Mathaudhu.  “This award will allow UCR to research and develop advanced lightweight structural alloys, incorporate the discoveries and findings into education and classroom, and importantly, to reach out the broader community and integrate them into the excitement and opportunities in metallurgical research and other STEM fields.” 

 The CAREER Program is the NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty who are dedicated to integrating both research and education. CAREER grant awards range from $400,000 to $1 million, with around a 16 percent funding rate in the NSF Directorate for Engineering.  “We are very proud of Suveen and excited about the new opportunities his research will enable” said Prof. Guillermo Aguilar, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department.  “More so, we are proud that Mathaudhu becomes the recipient of the 8th CAREER award in our department, joining the ranks of Profs. Elisa Franco, Masaru Rao, Lorenzo Mangolini and Guanxui (Alex) Xu, among others. The high proportion of our young faculty who have achieved this honor speaks to the scientific novelty and relevance of the cutting-edge research and innovative educational approaches we have in our department.”

 Prof. Mathaudhu is especially excited to grow his innovative efforts to reach K-12 students by connecting his scientific research with the science of superheroes.  He has recently been selected by the NSF to present an exhibit titled “The Super Science of Captain America’s Shield” at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 15-17, 2016 in Washington D.C. (  In this exhibit, he will integrate the fictional science behind the creation of Captain America’s super-strong metal shield with the real science he does to develop ultra-tough metals and alloys. 






More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188