Material and Devices Grand Rounds | Institute for Functional Materials and Devices

Friday, September 25, 2020 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

Synectics: From Reaction Bonding to Single Crystals
Helen Chan, Materials Science & Engineering

Zoom Link:

New research directions often evolve from transferring concepts from one area of research to another.  This talk will draw on examples of this from my own research experience.  The underlying theme will be novel processing, and how different reaction/processing routes can be modelled and exploited to achieve desirable microstructures and properties.  Topics to be considered include reaction bonding in alumina ceramics, patterning of sapphire substrates for III-nitride growth, and single crystal growth by reaction synthesis. 

Professor Helen Chan is New Jersey Zinc Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. She received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. form Imperial College, University of London.  She joined the Lehigh faculty in 1986, and subsequently took an 18-month leave of absence at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she investigated mechanical properties of ceramics. She returned to Lehigh in 1988, becoming Full Professor in 1995.  She served as Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering 2006 - 2016.

Dr. Chan is the author of over 190 publications, 5 US patents,165 contributed talks, and over 110 invited presentations. Her work has been cited in > 7,100 publications. Her research interests include: 1) Application of reactive processing to fabricate unique ceramic/metal structures, 2) Processing, properties and advanced characterization of high entropy alloys, 3) Mechanical behavior of ceramic composites, 4) Role of interfacial chemistry in determining the elevated temperature mechanical behavior of ceramics. Dr. Chan chaired the 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Solid State Ceramics.

Dr. Chan is a Fellow and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Ceramic Society. She received its Roland B. Snow award five times.  She was also a recipient of ASM International's Bradley Stoughton Award for outstanding young faculty in the field of Materials Science & Engineering. She is also a recipient of Lehigh’s Libsch award for excellence in research, Hillman Award for “teaching, research work and advancing the interests of the university”, and the Service Teaching Excellence award on 3 separate occasions. In 2016, she was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Professorship at TU Graz, Austria. She is one of the researchers highlighted in the book “Successful Women Ceramic and Glass Scientists and Engineers: 100 Inspirational Profiles,” by L. Madsen, Wiley, 2015.



Academics & Colleges

Target Audience

Graduate Students, Faculty


Institute for Functional Materials and Devices
Contact Information

Nikki Rump (

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