Press Releases

Penn State professor of ceramic science and engineering to deliver McMahon Lecture

Alfred University | 10/07/19

Susan Trolier-McKinstry
Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Steward S. Flaschen Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Penn State University, will deliver the John F. McMahon Memorial Lecture at 11:20 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall, on the Alfred University campus.


ALFRED, NY – Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Steward S. Flaschen Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Penn State University, will deliver the John F. McMahon Memorial Lecture at 11:20 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall, on the Alfred University campus.

Trolier-McKinstry, whose main research interests include thin films for dielectric and piezoelectric applications, also serves as and director of the Nanofabrication Facility at Penn State. Her lecture, titled “Piezoelectric Films for Microelectromechanical Systems,” is open to the public, free of charge.

Piezoelectric thin films are of increasing interest in low voltage microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting. They also serve as model systems to study fundamental behavior in piezoelectrics.

“The seminar will discuss how materials are optimized for these applications, as well as examples of the use of piezoelectric films over a wide range of length scales. The key figures of merit for actuators and energy harvesting will be discussed, with emphasis on how to achieve these on practical substrates,” Trolier-McKinstry said in her lecture abstract.

 “To illustrate the functionality of these (piezoelectric) films, examples of integration into MEMS structures will also be discussed, including adaptive optics for X-ray telescopes, low frequency and non-resonant piezoelectric energy harvesting devices, and piezoelectronic transistors as a potential replacement for CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) electronics.”

 Trolier-McKinstry has B.S., M.S. and doctorate degrees in ceramic science and engineering, all from Penn State. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, IEEE, and the Materials Research Society, and an academician of the World Academy of Ceramics. She currently serves as an associate editor for Applied Physics Letters. She was 2017 President of the Materials Research Society; previously she served as president of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, as well as Keramos. Twenty-one people that she has advised or co-advised have gone on to take faculty positions around the world.

The John F. McMahon Memorial Lecture Award is presented annually to an outstanding ceramic engineer. The award was created by alumni in honor of the late John F. McMahon, an alumnus, a professor and finally, dean of what is now the Inamori School of Engineering.