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Faculty Profile

Olivia A A. Graeve

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Solution-based processing of nanopowders; spark plasma sinteringof materials; powder particle size distribution control and characterization; behavior of colloidal systems; morphological control of non-oxide ceramic powders; composite manufacturing; special emphasis on electromagnetic materials for sensors and energy applications.

Professor Olivia A. Graeve has gained international recognition in the area of nanomaterials manufacturing. Her research expertise connects fundamental principles of materials processing with specific engineering needs, with special emphasis on electromagnetic multifunctional materials for sensors and energy applications. Specific projects her group has worked on include: fundamental studies of microemulsions for the preparation of ceramic and metallic nanoparticles of unique morphologies; the effect of crystallite size and particle size on the sintering behavior of nanopowders: interface behavior, agglomeration effects and morphological effects; the luminescence response of doped oxide ceramics such as barium aluminum silicate compounds for triboluminescent sensor applications, lutetium silicate compounds for gamma-ray detection applications, and hydroxyapatite for in vitro probing of deterioration of scaffolds and bone; the behavior of metal-based nanofluids for thermal energy dissipation; the consolidation and mechanical behavior of amorphous-metal / nanocrystalline-ceramic composites via spark plasma sintering; the development of hexaboride materials for space propulsion, electro-optics, and hydrogen storage applications; and the processing of carbide powders and fibers for high-temperature sensor and aerospace applications. Her work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and a variety of industrial partners.

Capsule Bio:

Olivia A. Graeve received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Davis, in 2001 and her bachelor’s in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego in 1995. She was an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and an associate professor at Alfred University prior to her appointment at UC San Diego. Professor Graeve has received several prestigious awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2007, the American Ceramic Society’s 2010 Karl Schwartzwalder Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 2011 Jaime Oaxaca Award (the highest honor given by the Society) for her outstanding work towards the recruitment and retention of Hispanics into graduate programs and the professoriate. Professor Graeve has also been nationally recognized as an excellent teacher and mentor in the form of the 2006 Hispanic Educator of the Year award by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). She is currently the President of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers (2012-13) and the Chair of SHPE’s Graduate Programs (2009-13).

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