Group Members


Current Group Members

Group Alumni

Ph.D. Graduates

    • Dr. Matthew J. Brukman, Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2000-2005. (now a Postdoctoral Associate, U. Pennsylvania, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, Prof. D. Bonnell, advisor). Thesis: Atomic Force Microscopy and the Investigation of Atomic Scale Friction
    • Dr. Erin E. Flater, Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2001-2006. (now an Assistant Professor, Physics Dept., Luther College, Iowa). Thesis: Toward Prediction of MEMS Performance: A Multiscale Approach to Understanding Friction
    • Dr. Rachel J. Cannara, Ph.D., Physics, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2001-2006 (now a  project leader at the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology). Thesis: The Atomic-Scale Origins of Friction: A Nanotribological Study of Diamond Surfaces
    • Dr. Hsao Wei Yap, Ph.D., Physics, U. Pennsylvania, 2004-2007. (presently at the U. California Berkeley). Thesis: Mechanical Instabilities of Carbon Nanotubes
    • Dr. David S. Grierson,  Ph.D., Engineering Mechanics, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2002-2008. (now a Postdoctoral Associate, U. Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. K. Turner, advisor). Thesis: Nanotribological Properties of Nanostructured Hard Carbon Thin Films
    • Dr. Patrick J. Heaney, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2005-2009. Co-advised with Prof. F. Pfefferkorn. (now founder of NCD Technologies, LLC, Wisconsin, Madison). Thesis: Improving Nanocrystalline Diamond Coatings for Micro End Mills
    • Dr. Vivekenanda P. Adiga, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, U. Pennsylvania,  2007-2010. (now a Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University, Dept. of Applied and Engineering Physics, Prof. H. Craighead, advisor). Thesis: Mechanical Stiffness and Dissipation in Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films
    • Dr. Andrew R. Konicek, Ph.D., Physics & Astronomy, U. Pennsylvania,  2008-2010. (now a NRC Postdoctoral Associate, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Chemical Sciences and Technology Division, Dr. D. Meier, advisor). Thesis: Tribochemical Studies of Hard Carbon Films as a Function of Load and Environment
    • Dr. Jingjing Liu, Ph.D., Materials Science Program, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2007-2011 (now a Process Engineer, Applied Materials). Thesis: Characterizing and Understanding Nanoscale Wear of Carbon-Based Atomic Force Microscope Tips. Co-advised with K.T. Turner, U. Wisconsin-Madison
    • Dr. Christopher Torres, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2006-2011 (now at Intel). Thesis: Optimization and Analysis of Nanocrystalline Diamond Coated Micro End Mills. Co-advised with F. Pfefferkorn, U. Wisconsin-Madison
    • Mr. Baolei Zhang (, Visiting Student, 2009-2011.
    • Dr. Vahid Vahdat (, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, U. Pennsylvania, 2008-2013 (now a Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh).
    • Dr. Graham E. Wabiszewski (, Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, U. Pennsylvania, 2007-2013 (now a Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania).
    • Dr. Tevis D.B. Jacobs (, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, U. Pennsylvania, 2008-2013 (now a Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pennsylvania). Thesis: Imaging and Understanding Atomic-Scale Adhesion and Wear: Quantitative Investigations Using In Situ TEM

Master’s Degree Graduates

    • Mr. Christopher Torres, M.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006-2008 (now a Ph.D. student, U. Wisconsin-Madison). Thesis: Analysis of the Cutting Force Improvement Produced by Nanocrystalline Diamond Coatings
    • Mr. Sean D. O’Connor, M.Sc., Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005-2008 (now a Ph.D. student, U. Wisconsin-Madison).
    • Mr. Ryan R. O’Keefe, M.Sc., U. Wisconsin-Madison, Materials Science, 2000-2002 (now a Manufacture and Design Engineer at Ace Precision, Oconomowoc, WI). Thesis: The Synthesis and Design of Al2O3-ZnAl2O4 Nanocomposites
    • Ms. Shuang Zhao, M.Sc., U. Wisconsin-Madison, Materials Science, 2000-2002 (now a Researcher at Gentel BioSurfaces, Madison,  WI). Thesis: Nano- to Micro-Scale Topographic Control of Polymer Surfaces via Wrinkling
    • Mr. Patrick Griffin, M.Sc., U. Wisconsin-Madison, Materials Science, 2002-2004 (now a Process Engineer, Heraeus Inc., Chandler,  AZ). Thesis: Confinement Effects in Pore Growth for Nanoscale Anodized Alumina on Silicon
    • Mr. Guoqing Ning, M.Sc., U. Wisconsin-Madison, Mechanical Engineering, 2004-2006 (now a Process Engineer at Intel Corp., Santa   Clara, CA
    • Mr. Sina Ghassemi, M.Sc., U. Pennsylvania, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, 2010

Postdoctoral Advisees

    • Dr. Michael Eglin, Postdoctoral Associate, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2003-2005 (now a Research Scientist at Blaser Swisslube, Hasle-Rüegsau,  Switzerland)
    • Dr. In-Ha Sung, Postdoctoral Associate, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2004-2006 (now an Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Hannam   University, Korea)
    • Dr. Nicklaus A. Smith, Postdoctoral Associate, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2005-2006 (now a Postdoctoral Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory)
    • Dr. Papot Jaroenapibal, Postdoctoral Associate, U. Pennsylvania, 2007-2008 (now an Assistant Professor, Khon Kaen University, Thailand)
    • Dr. Matthew A. Hamilton, Postdoctoral Associate, U. Pennsylvania, 2007-2008 (now a Product Development Engineer at Exactech, Gainesville, Florida
    • Dr. Christian Greiner, Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2010 (now a Research Scientist, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).
    • Dr. Qunyang Li, University of Pennsylvania, 2008-2012 (now an Assistant Professor, XXX Dept., Tsinghua University, China).
    • Dr. Jason Bares, University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2012 (now an xxx, Borg Warner, MI).
    • Dr. Philip Egberts, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2013 (now an Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada).
    • Dr. Filippo Mangolini, University of Pennsylvania, 2011-2014 (now continuing a Marie Curie International Outgoing Postdoctoral Fellowship at Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Lyon, France).
    • Dr. Tevis D.B. Jacobs, University of Pennsylvania, 2013-2014 (now an Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA).

Visitors – Past

  • Wen Yue, 2013-2014. Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Surface Engineering Institute, School of Engineering and Technology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China.

Staff Members

  • Dr. Hongquan Jiang, Project Assistant, U. Wisconsin-Madison, Materials Science and Engineering, 2005 (now a Research Associate, Department of   Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Arlington)
  • Dr. Shuang Li, Project Assistant, U. Wisconsin-Madison, Engineering Physics, 2006 (now a Process Development Engineer, nLight, Vancouver,  WA)
  • Dr. Anirudha V. Sumant, Assistant Scientist, U. Wisconsin-Madison, 2003-2006; Postdoctoral Associate, 2002-2003 (now an Assistant Materials Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory)

Over 40 undergraduate research students previously advised.