Symposium Speakers

You are here


John de BarbadilloJohn de Barbadillo, PhD
Chief Metallurgist
Special Metals
Title: Metallic Materials for Advanced Energy Systems

John de Barbadillo received his B.S., M.S. and PhD. Degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from Lehigh University. He has been employed for 47 years by Inco Ltd., Inco Alloys International, Inc. and subsequently Special Metals a PCC Company. He has been located at the Special Metals plant in Huntington WV and has worked in a variety of capacities in Research and Development, Process Improvement and Process Control. Dr. de Barbadillo has been involved with a wide range of nickel alloy product and process technologies including alloy design, hot and cold working and both primary and secondary melting. He is currently Manager of Product and Process Development and also serves as President of the Specialty Metal Processing Consortium, an industry group specializing in remelting technology. Dr. de Barbadillo is author or coauthor of many papers and patents and is a Fellow of ASM International.

Jaime Freitas, PhD
Research Scientist
Naval Research Laboratory

Title: A Brief Overview and Future Outlook on the Progress of III-Nitride Semiconductors Research

Jaime Freitas was a Professor at Brazilian Universities and a Consulting Scientist in USA before becoming a Research Scientist at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington-DC. He has over 35 years of experience in employing a combination of techniques to detect and identify point and extended defect and their role on the structural, optical, and electrical properties of bulk and thin film materials. Dr. Freitas published various book chapters and over 220 scientific manuscripts on electrical transport, optical, magnetic, and other physical properties of crystalline and amorphous materials, polymers and semiconductors. He delivered more than 150 invited and contributing talks, and lectures at professional meetings, universities, and research institutions. During the last 30 years, the research work has been centered on wide- and ultra-wide-bandgap semiconductors with emphasis on SiC, diamond, and III-V nitrides, and more recently Ga2O3. Currently research interests include the use of a combination of defect-sensitive techniques to understand the mechanisms associated with the incorporation of native, complex, and extended defects and their role on the incorporation and activation of background impurities and doping species. 

Aisha Haynes, PhD
Research Materials Engineer
Combat Capability Development Command at Armaments Center

Title: Material Challenges for Armaments Technologies

Dr. Haynes received her doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2008.  She is a Research Materials Engineer in the Armaments Engineering, Analysis, and Manufacturing Directorate at Armaments Center.  She has worked as a materials scientist for 17 years leading basic and applied research in novel nanomaterials and composites for applications ranging from advanced chemical sensors and protective coatings to packaging and thermal management of gun launched electronics. Her contributions have enhanced the survivability and reliability of gun launched electronics, organic based hardware, and complex composites such as energetic materials throughout the life cycle of the base munition.

Christine Heckle, PhD
Research Director, Inorganic Materials Research & Asia Research Labs
Corning Research & Development Corporation
Title: TBA

Christine E. Heckle, Ph.D., was appointed research director, Inorganic Materials Research and Asia Research Labs, in December 2017. In this role, Heckle is responsible for setting the strategies for materials research in Corning and for CRCT & CRCC in their contributions to the corporation. Heckle is the champion for the Materials Informatics effort to enable data-driven materials discovery and is an important component in Corning’s shift toward a data culture. Previously, she was research director, Crystalline Materials Research, where she led the development of new ceramic products to support the Environmental Technologies and Specialty Materials segments, as well as new business and exploratory arenas. Heckle joined Corning in 1997 in Corning Specialty Materials development, contributing to HPFS product and process developments. She moved to Environmental Technologies development and subsequently commercial technology to lead a variety of programs that introduced new products into the marketplace. Under her leadership, DuraTrap® AT was expanded into the heavy-duty market, and two new product offerings were launched for the light-duty market. Heckle is a member of SPECTRA and ADAPT. She mentors and coaches members of EDGE (Ethnically Diverse Group of Employees) and SBP (Society of Black Professionals). She won the 2018 S&T People Development Award – Manager. Heckle serves as a member of the board of trustees for Alfred University in Alfred, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in glass science from Alfred University.

Andy LaFountainAndy LaFountain, PhD
Material Sciences Laboratory Director, Corporate Strategic Research
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

Title: Outlook for Energy – A Perspective to 2040 and Implications for Materials Research

Andy LaFountain is Lab Director for Materials Sciences in ExxonMobil’s Corporate Strategic Research.  He holds a PhD in Tribology from Imperial College, London and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University. Andy joined ExxonMobil’s Research and Engineering (EMRE) product technology center in Paulsboro, New Jersey in 1999.  There he held a variety of roles as tribology advisor, lubricant formulator and as technical liaison with automotive OEM research departments.  He subsequently served on multiple strategic study teams, was business venture manager for developing a major IT system, and has led global organizations spanning research, development and deployment of ExxonMobil lubricants. In 2014 Andy joined ExxonMobil’s Chemical Company and served as the global chemical research manager responsible for the product fundamentals department followed by a role as the Technology Guidance Manager supporting.  Most recently he led Global Lab Operations for Products Technology in EMRE before assuming his current role as Lab Director for Material Sciences in Corporate Strategic Research.

Bryan LoveBryan Love, PhD
Chief, Materials and Manufacturing Science Division
CCDC Army Research Laboratory (Arberdeen, MD)

Title: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Needs for the Army’s Modernization Priorities

Bryan M. Love earned his bachelors (1999) and masters (2001) of science in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and his doctorate (2004) in engineering mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  He joined the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in 2005 as a civilian staff member, researching material behavior under ballistic loading.   He became the chief of the Materials Response and Design Branch in 2014, leading ARL’s investments in mechanics of materials.  He is currently serving as the acting division chief of the Materials and Manufacturing Science Division.

Rajesh Mehta, PhD
Program Director, Education Technology and Applications
National Science Foundation

Title: National Science Foundation's Programs to Catalyze Industry/University Partnerships

Rajesh Mehta joined National Science Foundation in 2012 after a 26-year career at Kodak in Rochester, NY. He served as Program Director for Advanced Manufacturing & Nanotechnology portfolio in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)program for 5 years and is currently serving as Program Director for the Education Technology & Applications.  He has an undergraduate degree from IIT-Bombay, Ph.D. from Penn State, a post-doctoral fellowship at Imperial College, London, and a Masters of Product Development from RIT.

D.R. Nagaraj
Principal Research Fellow
Solvay Technology Solutions
Member, National Academy of Engineering

Title: Sustainable Mineral Resource Development: The Big Challenges and Opportunities

Nagaraj is Principal Research Fellow at Solvay Technology Solutions. He started his career at Cyanamid in 1979 after his doctorate from Columbia University, and held various positions in Cyanamid/Cytec over the years, but never far from science, research, and education which are his passions. Nag has degrees in both chemistry and metallurgy. He has a strong background in Minerals Engineering, Extractive Metallurgy, Organic/Analytical/Coordination Chemistry, Water Soluble Polymers, Surface and Colloid Chemistry, and Applied Electrochemistry. His main area of expertise is in the chemical aspects of mineral resource development, especially in the design, development, and implementation of practical chemical schemes for diverse applications in mineral recovery and processing.  He holds over 30 patents, and has authored and co-authored ~100 journal publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He served as an editor for International Journal of Minerals Processing for many years. Nag is passionate about mineral industry education, and has been a part-time educator throughout his career. He has conducted training workshops in various aspects of minerals processing in the industry. He is an Adjunct professor at Columbia University. He was also affiliated with JKMRC at the University of Queensland. Nag has received numerous awards in Cytec/Solvay and in the mineral industry, most notably Aplan Award and Gaudin Award. Nag is a Distinguished Member of SME. He was inducted into International Mining Hall of Fame in 2016.

Adam PolcynAdam Polcyn, PhD
Vice President of Research and Development
Vitro Architectural Glass

Title: Materials Research Opportunities for Glass Applications in Buildings and Transportation

Dr. Adam Polcyn is Vice President of Research and Development for Vitro Architectural Glass, headquartered in Cheswick, Pennsylvania.  Dr. Polcyn’s technical background is primarily in industrial R&D of magnetron sputter vacuum deposited (MSVD) thin film products.  From 1999-2005, he worked with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, where he developed and commercialized several MSVD thin film stacks for hard disk media and directed the magnetic media characterization laboratory.  After joining PPG Industries in 2005, Dr. Polcyn led PPG’s Government Initiatives effort for Glass R&D, before returning to MSVD thin film product development in 2007 and commercializing optical interference thin film stacks for the solar energy and commercial glazing industries.  From 2012-2015, Dr. Polcyn led a group focused on float glass technology, before returning to MSVD in 2015 and leading PPG and later Vitro’s MSVD R&D effort until August 2019, when he assumed his current role of Vice President of Research and Development.  Dr. Polcyn holds an A.B. in physics Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.     

Michael Popule, PhD
Vice President of Global Process Research
Evonik Corporation

Title: Innovation Growth Fields at Evonik

Michael Popule is the Vice President of Global Process Research for Evonik Corporation located in Allentown, PA.   In this position, he is primarily responsible for leading the organization in process development and commercialization of new product offerings, reduced cost productivity and increased asset leverage through process innovation.  He has 33 years of experience in process development at Evonik, Air Products and Rhone Poulenc.  He has spent his entire career in process development in both research and manufacturing environments.  His expertise is in batch processing and scale-up working with multi-phase systems including emulsion polymerization and slurry catalyst hydrogenation. 

He holds BS and ME degrees in Chemical Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and Lehigh University respectively.