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Andy Nieto

Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Phone: (831) 656-6075


Dr. Nieto is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. Current research interests focus on the development of advanced ceramic and metallic matrix composites, synthesized via additive based techniques, such as cold spraying and 3D printing. New composite coatings and alloys with enhanced corrosion and wear resistance are envisioned for use in austere marine environments. Prior to joining NPS, Dr. Nieto was an Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, where he worked on the development of high temperature ceramics and coatings, and the understanding of environmental particulate (CMAS) attack mechanisms. Other past and present research interests include nanomaterials (synthesis, mechanical, functional behavior), scalable processing (thermal spray, sintering, additive manufacturing), novel biomaterials (structural, tissue engineering), tribology (low wear/friction materials), nanomechanics, UHTCs and MAX phases, and carbon nanoparticle reinforced composites (GNP/CNT/ND reinforced polymer/metal/ceramic matrix). His research has generated 46 peer-reviewed publications that have received >1300 citations. Dr. Nieto earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) from the University of California Davis in 2016, and his M.S. in MSE from Florida International University in 2013. Dr. Nieto received an undergraduate degree in Aerospace engineering from the University of Miami.
NPS Experience
  • 2018 - current: AD-1701-03
Other Experience
  • 2018 Assistant Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 2016 - 2018 ORAU Postdoctoral Fellow, US Army Research Laboratory
  • 2016 - 2016 Graduate Student Researcher, University of California Davis
  • 2015 - 2016 Teaching Assistant, University of California Davis
  • 2015 - 2015 Visiting NSF EAPSI Fellow, Yonsei University
  • 2013 - 2015 Eugene Cota-Robles Doctoral Fellow, University of California Davis
  • 2013 - 2013 Research Engineer, Florida International University
  • 2012 - 2012 Teaching Assistant, Florida International University
  • 2011 - 2013 Research Assistant, Florida International University
Research Interests
Nanocomposites, ceramics, coatings, high entropy alloys, environmental degradation, tribocorrosion, nanoindentation, sintering, additive processing
Teaching Interests
Materials science, corrosion, materials characterization, mechanical properties, composites, phase transformations


  • 2020 - NPS Teaching Fellow 2021, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 2017 - 2017 Nanomaterials and Energy Prize, Institution of Civil Engineers
  • 2016 - ORAU Postdoctoral Fellowship, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
  • 2016 - Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, University of California - Davis
  • 2015 - East Asia & Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) Fellow, National Science Foundation
  • 2015 - UC Davis Graduate Student Travel Award, University of California - Davis
  • 2013 - Most Outstanding Masters Graduate Award, FIU College of Engineering and Computing
  • 2013 - TMS Student Travel Grant, The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society
  • 2012 - FIU Graduate Student Association Travel Grant, Florida International University
  • 2011 - FIU Graduate Minority Opportunity Program Fellowship, Florida International University

Boards, Memberships, & Certifications

Professional Memberships
  • 2013 Secretary of Funding for Northern California Section, American Ceramic Society
Licensures and Certifications
  • 2012 Fundamentals of Engineering (FE), Florida Board of Professional Engineers

Scholarly Work

  • Conference Proceedings
  • Murugan, M., Ghoshal, A., Walock, M., Bravo, L. G., Koneru, R., Jain, N., Mock, C., Pepi, M., Nieto, A., Flatau, A., & other, (2021). In Search of Durable Sandphobic Thermal/Environmental Barrier Coatings for Rotorcraft Gas Turbine Engines.
  • Ghoshal, A., Walock, M. J., Murugan, M., Mock, C., Bravo, L., Pepi, M., Nieto, A., Wright, A., Luo, J., Jain, N., & other, (2019). Governing Parameters Influencing CMAS Adhesion and Infiltration Into Environmental/Thermal Barrier Coatings in Gas Turbine Engines.
  • Mock, C., Walock, M. J., Wright, A., Nieto, A., Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., & Pepi, M, (2019). Rare-Earth Oxides Blended With Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Thermal Barrier Coatings for Improved Resistance to Sand Adherence and Calcia-Magnesia-Alumino-Silicate (CMAS) Infiltration.
  • Nieto, A., Walock, M. J., Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., Wright, A., Luo, J., & Zhu, D, (2018). Calcia-Magnesia-Alumina-Silicate (CMAS) Infiltration Behavior in High Temperature Ceramics and Coatings.
  • Walock, M., Heng, V., Nieto, A., Ghoshal, A., Driemeyer, D., & Murugan, M, (2018). High Temperature Durability of Oxide-Oxide Ceramic Matrix Composites Exposed to Engine Relevant Conditions.
  • Nieto, A., Ghoshal, A., Walock, M. J., & Murugan, M, (2018). Non-destructive evaluation of thermal barrier coating damage and molten sand deposits on gas turbine engine components via scanning acoustic microscopy.
  • Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., Walock, M. J., Nieto, A., Bravo, L., Barnett, B., Pepi, M., Hoffmeister Mock, C., Swab, J., Hirsch, S., & other, (2018). Sandphobic coatings and surface modification of hot section components of next generation VTOL engines: current and future research efforts.
  • Murugan, M., Ghoshal, A., Walock, M., Nieto, A., Barnett, B., Pepi, M., Pegg, R. T., Rowe, C., Zhu, D., & Kerner, K, (2017). Microstructure Based Material-Sand Particulate Interactions and Assessment of Coatings for High Temperature Turbine Blades.
  • Nieto, A., Perez, K., Rojas, M., Rodriguez, O., Fernandez, O., Salman, S., & Zha, G, (2012). Towards High Efficiency Hypersonic Flight--Hypersonic Bi-Directional Flying Wing.
  • Journal Articles
  • Ansell, T., Hanneman, T., Gonzalez-Perez, A., Park, C., & Nieto, A, (2021). Effect of high energy ball milling on spherical metallic powder particulates for additive manufacturing. Particulate Science and Technology, 1--9.
  • Nieto, A., Agrawal, R., Bravo, L., Hofmeister-Mock, C., Pepi, M., & Ghoshal, A, (2020). Calcia--magnesia--alumina--silicate (CMAS) attack mechanisms and roadmap towards Sandphobic thermal and environmental barrier coatings. International Materials Reviews, 1--42.
  • Bower, K., Murray, S., Reinhart, A., & Nieto, A, (2020). Corrosion resistance of selective laser melted Ti--6Al--4V alloy in salt fog environment. Results in Materials, (8), 100122.
  • Mitchell, J., Crow, N., & Nieto, A, (2020). Effect of Surface Roughness on Pitting Corrosion of AZ31 Mg Alloy. Metals, 5(10), 651.
  • Wright, A. J., Wang, Q., Huang, C., Nieto, A., Chen, R., & Luo, J, (2020). From high-entropy ceramics to compositionally-complex ceramics: A case study of fluorite oxides. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 5(40), 2120--2129.
  • Walock, M. J., Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., Nieto, A., Mock, C., & Pepi, M. S, (2020). Introduction. Journal of Materials Research, 17(35), 2247--2248.
  • Han, Y., Gao, R., Bajpai, I., Kim, B., Yoshida, H., Nieto, A., Son, H., Yun, J., Jang, B., Jhung, S., & other, (2020). Spark plasma sintered bioceramics--from transparent hydroxyapatite to graphene nanocomposites: a review. Advances in Applied Ceramics, 2(119), 57--74.
  • Norrell, T., Ferguson, G., Ansell, T., Saladin, T., Nardi, A., & Nieto, A, (2020). Synthesis and corrosion behavior of cold sprayed dual nanoparticle reinforced Al coatings. Surface and Coatings Technology, (401), 126280.
  • Fehrenbacher, D. L., Kutsch, J., Vesnovsky, I., Fehrenbacher, E., Ghoshal, A., Walock, M., Murugan, M., & Nieto, A, (2019). Advanced environmental barrier coatings for SiC CMCs. Advances in Ceramics for Environmental, Functional, Structural, and Energy Applications II, (266), 83--93.
  • Walock, M. J., Heng, V., Nieto, A., Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., & Driemeyer, D, (2018). Ceramic Matrix Composite Materials for Engine Exhaust Systems on Next-Generation Vertical Lift Vehicles. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 10(140), 102101.
  • Nieto, A., Walock, M., Ghoshal, A., Zhu, D., Gamble, W., Barnett, B., Murugan, M., Pepi, M., Rowe, C., & Pegg, R, (2018). Layered, composite, and doped thermal barrier coatings exposed to sand laden flows within a gas turbine engine: Microstructural evolution, mechanical properties, and CMAS deposition. Surface and Coatings Technology, (349), 1107--1116.
  • Ghoshal, A., Murugan, M., Walock, M. J., Nieto, A., Barnett, B. D., Pepi, M. S., Swab, J. J., Zhu, D., Kerner, K. A., Rowe, C. R., & other, (2018). Molten Particulate Impact on Tailored Thermal Barrier Coatings for Gas Turbine Engine. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 2(140), 022601.
  • Penkov, O. V., Khadem, M., Nieto, A., Kim, T., & Kim, D, (2017). Design and Construction of a Micro-Tribotester for Precise In-Situ Wear Measurements. Micromachines, 4(8), 103.
  • Nieto, A., Kim, J., Penkov, O. V., Kim, D., & Schoenung, J. M, (2017). Elevated temperature wear behavior of thermally sprayed WC-Co/nanodiamond composite coatings. Surface and Coatings Technology, (315), 283--293.
  • Nieto, A., Bisht, A., Lahiri, D., Zhang, C., & Agarwal, A, (2017). Graphene reinforced metal and ceramic matrix composites: a review. International Materials Reviews, 5(62), 241--302.
  • Nieto, A., Yang, H., Jiang, L., & Schoenung, J. M, (2017). Reinforcement size effects on the abrasive wear of boron carbide reinforced aluminum composites. Wear, (390), 228--235.
  • Nieto, A., Jiang, L., Kim, J., Kim, D., & Schoenung, J. M, (2017). Synthesis and Multi Scale Tribological Behavior of WC-Co/Nanodiamond Nanocomposites. Scientific Reports, 1(7), 7060.
  • Nieto, A, (2016). Exploring nature, history, and nano-diamonds in Korea. American Ceramic Society Bulletin, 6(95), 56.
  • Nieto, A., Zhao, J. M., Han, Y., Hwang, K. H., & Schoenung, J. M, (2016). Microscale tribological behavior and in vitro biocompatibility of graphene nanoplatelet reinforced alumina. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, (61), 122--134.
  • Zhang, C., Nieto, A., & Agarwal, A, (2016). Ultrathin graphene tribofilm formation during wear of Al2O3--graphene composites. Nanomaterials and Energy, 1(5), 1--9.
  • Koller, M., Seiner, H., Landa, M., Nieto, A., & Agarwal, A, (2015). Anisotropic elastic and acoustic properties of bulk graphene nanoplatelets consolidated by spark plasma sintering. Acta Phys Polon A, (128), 670--674.
  • Nieto, A., Boesl, B., & Agarwal, A, (2015). Multi-scale intrinsic deformation mechanisms of 3D graphene foam. Carbon, (85), 299--308.
  • Nieto, A., Huang, L., Han, Y., & Schoenung, J. M, (2015). Sintering behavior of spark plasma sintered alumina with graphene nanoplatelet reinforcement. Ceramics International, 4(41), 5926--5936.
  • Nieto, A., Dua, R., Zhang, C., Boesl, B., Ramaswamy, S., & Agarwal, A, (2015). Three Dimensional Graphene Foam/Polymer Hybrid as a High Strength Biocompatible Scaffold. Advanced Functional Materials, 25(25), 3916--3924.
  • Pitchuka, S. B., Boesl, B., Zhang, C., Lahiri, D., Nieto, A., Sundararajan, G., & Agarwal, A, (2014). Dry Sliding Wear Behavior of Cold Sprayed Aluminum Amorphous/Nanocrystalline Alloy Coatings. Surface and Coatings Technology, (238), 118--125.
  • Nieto, A., Kumar, A., Lahiri, D., Zhang, C., Seal, S., & Agarwal, A, (2014). Oxidation behavior of graphene nanoplatelet reinforced tantalum carbide composites in high temperature plasma flow. Carbon, (67), 398--408.
  • Nieto, A, (2013). Graphene Nanoplatelets Reinforced Tantalum Carbide Consolidated by Spark Plasma Sintering. Materials Science & Engineering A, (582), 338-346.
  • Nieto, A., Lahiri, D., & Agarwal, A, (2013). Nanodynamic mechanical behavior of graphene nanoplatelet-reinforced tantalum carbide. Scripta Materialia, 9(69), 678--681.
  • Agrawal, R., Nieto, A., Chen, H., Mora, M., & Agarwal, A, (2013). Nanoscale Damping Characteristics of Boron Nitride Nanotubes and Carbon Nanotubes Reinforced Polymer Composites. ACS applied materials \& interfaces, 22(5), 12052--12057.
  • Nieto, A., Lahiri, D., & Agarwal, A, (2012). Synthesis and properties of bulk graphene nanoplatelets consolidated by spark plasma sintering. Carbon, 11(50), 4068--4077.
  • Other
  • Nieto, A, (2020). The Promise of 2D Nanolaminated Materials as Protective Solid-State Lubricants.
  • Masters Thesis
  • Nieto, A, (2013). Graphene Nanoplatelets Reinforced TaC Consolidated by SPS.
  • Ph.D. Thesis
  • Nieto, A, (2016). Synthesis, Mechanical Behavior, and Multi-Scale Tribological Performance of Carbon Nanoparticle Reinforced Ceramic Composites.
  • Technical Reports
  • Wright, A., Walock, M., Nieto, A., Ghoshal, A., Luo, J., & Murugan, M, (2018). Effect of Porosity on Synthetic Sand Infiltration within Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Pellets.