Naval Postgraduate School
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Luke N. Brewer
Associate Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Watkins Hall room 331
Phone: 831-656-2213

        Prof. Brewer’s research focuses upon the processing-microstructure-property relationships of structural materials, including metals and ceramics.  He is currently interested in processes for mitigating stress corrosion cracking in aluminum-magnesium alloys.  He is also exploring new alloys for use in nuclear reactors. 

        Characterization technique development is a key area for Prof. Brewer.  He is actively involved in the development and application of electron backscattered diffraction and nanoindentation to characterizing the structure and mechanical behavior of metals and ceramics.


Dragoslav Grbovic
Assistant Professor
Physics Department
Spanagel Hall room 212
Phone: 831-656-2276

      Prof. Grbovic has a wide experience in MEMS device design and simulation as well as photolithography and microfabrication processes. Dr. Grbovic’s research interests are micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) for sensing and energy harvesting applications. 

       His recent research focuses on creating focal plane arrays of bi-material MEMS devices for infrared and terahertz imaging. His work has been published in Applied Physics Letters, Journal of Applied Physics, Optics Express and other journals and proceedings and he is an author of a chapter in the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.


Nancy M. Haegel
Physics Department
Spanagel Hall room 200B
Phone: 831-656-3954

       Research interests: transport phenomena in semiconducting and other electronic materials, transport imaging using near field optical microscopy, electronic properties of high resistivity materials, far infrared detectors for space astronomy and their transient behavior, novel detector and emitter materials for military applications.

       Our current projects include imaging carrier transport in GaN and ZnO nanowires using near field scanning microscopy in a scanning electron microscope, transport imaging to directly determine the spatial distribution of the μτ product in materials for gamma ray detection, studies of transient behavior in light emitting polymers and development of novel remotely triggered systems for military force protection applications.


Joe Hooper  
Assistant Professor
Physics Department
Spanagel Hall room 102b
Phone: 831 656 2601

Research interests:  
• Theory and modeling of energetic materials
• First-principles simulation of compression and shock loading of solids
• Fragmentation at high strain rates
• Impact-resistant nanocomposites

Our current projects focus on novel energetic materials and structural composites. We are simulating organometallic nanostructures as possible routes to fast, kinetically-limited combustion of aluminum in propellants or explosives. We are studying the fragmentation behavior of reactive materials and similar composites being considered for next-generation warheads. In collaboration with several experimentalists, we are modeling interfacial interactions and mechanical response of nanostructured composites for lightweight armors.


Young W. Kwon
Distinguished Professor  
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Watkins Hall room 322
Phone: 831-656-3468

        Research interests include, but are not limited to, (1) Computational Modeling and Simulation with emphasis on multi-scale and multi-physics applications using the Finite element method, Boundary element method, Molecular dynamics, Cellular automata, Lattice Boltzmann method, etc.; (2) Mechanics of Materials and Structures, especially fracture, failure, fatigue, transient loading, strain rate effect,  various composite materials; (3) Nanomaterials :dealing with carbon nanotubes, nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanocomposites, thermal management using nanoparticles and nanotubes; (4) Multiphysics Problems such as fluid-structure interaction, underwater explosion


Claudia C. Luhrs

Associate Professor

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Watkins Hall Room 305


Phone: 831-656-2568


Research interests centered on solid state materials. In particular, research efforts have been directed to engineer nanostructured and multifunctional materials.  

        Our group has developed novel synthetic pathways for materials preparation; instances of the same include reduction-expansion synthesis and plasma/aerosol methodologies. Special attention has been given to the characterization of the nanomaterial structural features and their correlation with observed properties and reactivity.

       Application projects include the generation of thermally stable materials for batteries, catalysts, structural and high energy density materials.

        Future areas of interest include the development of high temperature and impact resistant materials.





 Terry R McNelley
Distinguished Professor Emeritus 
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Watkins Hall room 311 
Phone: 831-656-2589


       Research Expertise and Areas of Interest: Mechanical behavior of materials and processing – microstructure – property relationships in metals and alloys. Deformation processing and superplasticity in aluminum alloys. Severe plastic deformation and microstructure refinement. Microstructure evolution and control during friction stir welding and processing of metals and alloys, including higher melting temperature materials such as bronzes and alloy steels.



Sarath Menon
Research Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Watkins Hall room 241
Phone: 831-656-2551

       My research interest is mainly in applying the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, kinetics and crystallography of materials in understanding phase transformations in materials using advanced methods of materials characterization.

       My expertise has been in the use of various electron-optical equipments mostly TEM and SEM. Currently the focus is on applying EDS, EBSD and FIB techniques including 3D microstructural analysis to various problems using our Field Emission SEM.


Sebastian Osswald
Assistant Professor 
Physics Department
Spanagel Hall room 110
Phone: 831-656-2817

       Dr. Osswald is the head of Nanomaterials and Nanosystems Group at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey (CA), and the director of Nanomaterial Design and Processing Laboratory and the Energy Research and Nanosensor Laboratory. Dr. Osswald is highly experienced with the synthesis, characterization, and application of a wide range of nanomaterials. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, new energy conversion and storage technologies, nanocomposites and multifunctional coatings, nanosensors and nanoelectronics, and micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS).



Jonathan Phillips

Research Professor
Physics Department

 Spanagel Hall room 102A


Phone: 2185

Research areas of interest:
Carbon: Catalytic growth of nanofibers to form macro composites. Properties. Applications.
Metals: Rapid (seconds), sub melting temperature (T/Tm<0.7) generation of metal and alloy structures from oxide precursors. Nano and micron scales.
Catalysis: Supported metal synthesis, characterization and testing. Impact of support on chemistry and structure. Multimetal structure.
Batteries:  Designing, synthesizing and testing novel micron/nano materials.
Ceramics: Complex nanoparticle design, synthesis, characterization, application.
Novel Dielectrics:  Characterization of the dielectric behavior of novel multi-material dielectrics, and application development. Modeling.
Microwave plasmas:  Multi-temperature characterization and modeling.  Impact of aerosols on plasma behavior.  High temperature synthesis.
Microcalorimetry, Spectroscopy (visible), XRD, TEM/SEM, Mossbauer 

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