New Materials Science and Engineering Department Chair Announced

Nov. 21, 2023 - Lorenzo Valdevit will serve as the next chair of the UC Irvine Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His appointment begins Jan 1, 2024. 

Valdevit will replace Distinguished Professor Emerita Julie Schoenung, who has served as the inaugural chair of the department since its founding in 2018. The chair is responsible for managing the department’s teaching, research and outreach efforts.

“Under the leadership of our founding chair, Julie Schoenung, we have accomplished a lot in the past five years, most notably hiring an incredible team of accomplished and dedicated faculty and staff members, and doubling our research expenditures,” said Valdevit. “I look forward to serving our faculty and working with them to reach even higher goals and aspirations.”

Valdevit is a professor of materials science and engineering with a joint appointment in mechanical and aerospace engineering. His research interests are in the mechanics of materials. His primary research goal is the optimal design, modeling, additive manufacturing and experimental characterization of architected materials and structures with unprecedented combinations of properties. He is the inaugural director of the Samueli School’s Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation (IDMI). Founded in 2015, the IDMI works to establish UCI as a national leader in advanced manufacturing, through research, education and outreach. Valdevit also serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’ Emerging Technology Technical Advisory Committee, which advises the department on emerging technologies with potential dual-use applications as early as possible in their developmental stages both within the U.S. and abroad.

Valdevit earned a master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a master’s degree in materials engineering from the University of Trieste in Italy. He came to UCI as an assistant professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 2007.

“When MSE was established as an independent department in 2018, I could not resist the excitement of helping create a new unit, surrounded by an incredible group of colleagues and friends,” he said. “My enthusiasm over this time has only grown stronger, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to define a collective vision for our department with impactful research, targeting big world challenges but also being mindful of our industrial ecosystem.”

Valdevit also hopes to advance the quality of educational programs, starting with improving lab infrastructure and modernizing curriculum; forge meaningful partnerships across campus and with industry, government labs and alumni; and continue to embrace the diversity of the family that makes up MSE@UCI.

– Lori Brandt