Materials scientist Mike Nastasi will become director of UNL’s Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research on Jan. 3.
Nastasi also will be a professor of mechanical and materials engineering and will hold the Elmer Koch Professorship. He comes to UNL from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was a longtime researcher and, since 2009, directed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Frontier Research Center on Materials at Irradiation of Mechanical Extremes.
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research is a partnership between UNL and the Nebraska Public Power District along with other industry sponsors. Established in 2006, the center conducts promising research to develop renewable domestic energy resources, improve energy efficiency and create economic opportunities for Nebraska and the nation. It encourages collaboration on energy-related research among UNL faculty, researchers elsewhere and with public and private energy-related organizations.
Nastasi’s interest in energy research stems from his work in materials and nanoscience. His research interests include ion-solid interactions, irradiation induced phase transformation and irradiation effects in nanostructured materials.
“Dr. Nastasi’s highly regarded research in materials science and his stellar record of attracting and managing major research projects will help make our interdisciplinary energy center even more competitive," said Prem S. Paul, UNL vice chancellor for research and economic development. “We’re looking forward to his leadership to take our already successful center to the next level.”
Nastasi earned doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in materials science and engineering from Cornell University. He was one of the top 50 most-published authors at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1996 to 2005.
Nastasi succeeds Jerry Hudgins, professor and chair of electrical engineering, who has served as interim director in 2011. Founding director Ken Cassman, a UNL agronomist, now holds the university’s inaugural Robert B. Daugherty Professorship.
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research is located in the Whittier Research Center, room 230.