Elizabeth Opila headshot
EO

Elizabeth J. Opila

Professor
Director
Unit: School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Office location and address
Wilsdorf Hall, 124
395 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
B.S. ​Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois, 1981
M.S. ​Materials Science and Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 1983
Ph.D. ​Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991
Research Scientist, ​NASA Glenn Research Center, 1991-2010
Biography

Our research focuses on materials for use in extreme environments and can be applied to materials for use in aircraft engines, rocket engines, energy conversion technologies, and thermal protection systems.  We first create critical aspects of the use environment in the lab such as high temperatures (up to 2000°C), reactive gases (oxygen, water vapor), and high flow rates ( hundreds of meters per second). We characterize materials before and after exposure using techniques as simple as weight change to sophisticated state-of-the-art microscopies and spectroscopies.  Experiments are linked with theory and computational techniques where possible.  We ask these questions about material behavior:  What reactions occur and why?  How fast do they occur?  Can we predict material lifetimes?  How can we make better materials? 

Exploring Oxidation and Surface Phenomena of Multi-Principal Element Alloys
Source: Johns Hopkins University
May 01, 2020 – April 30, 2025
Elucidating the contribution of crack-tip oxidation and localized deformation to the high temperature fatigue cracking of nickel-base superalloys
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
October 01, 2018 – December 31, 2024
Oxidation Mechanisms of Refractory Materials in Ultra-High Temperature Molecular and Dissociated Oxygen
Source: U.S. DOD - Air Force - Afosr
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2024
DMREF: Collaborative Research: GOALI: Accelerating Discovery of High Entropy Silicates for Extreme Environments
Source: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
October 01, 2019 – September 30, 2023
High Entropy Rare-earth Oxide (HERO) Coatings for Refractory Alloys
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
May 06, 2021 – November 05, 2022
Effects of Phase Mixtures on Long Term Stability of Ytterbium Silicate Environmental Barrier - Eric Stone
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
September 01, 2021 – August 31, 2022
Design of UHTC for Oxidation Resistance
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
April 01, 2019 – March 31, 2022
Hot Corrosion of Rare Earth Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
July 01, 2018 – March 31, 2022
Low Temperature Oxidation of a Melt Infiltrated SiC/BN/SiC - 2020
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Characterization of thermal properties and chemical stability of High Entropy Rare Earth Monosilicates
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Understanding CMAS-EBC Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategy - Year 5
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2021
EN-MSE- Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC 2021
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2021 – December 31, 2021
EN-MSE The Science of Entropy Stabilized Ultra-High Temperature Materials
Source: North Carolina State University
July 06, 2015 – September 05, 2021
Tailoring Thermal Properties and Corrosion Resistance of Environmental Barrier Coatings - Fellowship on Behalf of MacKenzie Ridley
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
September 01, 2020 – August 31, 2021
Effects of Phase Mixtures on Long Term Stability of Ytterbium Silicate Environmental Barrier - Eric Stone
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
September 01, 2020 – August 31, 2021
Reinventing CEMENT: Carbonation-Enabled Mineralization to Engender Novel Technology
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
August 09, 2019 – August 08, 2021
B2O3 reactions with RE-EBC - 21
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Materials Processing Challenges for Ultra-High Temperature Hypersonic Components - Fellowship on Behalf of Dominic Pinnisi
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
July 01, 2020 – June 30, 2021
EN-MSE-Microstructural Evolution of Environmental Barrier Coatings in Combustion Environments
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
July 01, 2017 – June 29, 2021
Understanding CMAS-EBC Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategy
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Characterization of diffusion pathways through APS EBCs
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
September 01, 2018 – December 31, 2020
Low Temperature Oxidation of a Melt Infiltrated SiC/SiC 2019
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2019 – December 31, 2020
B2O3 reactions with RE-EBC - 20
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Characterization of thermal properties and chemical stability of High Entropy Rare Earth Monosilicates
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Low Temperature Oxidation of a Melt Infiltrated SiC/BN/SiC - 2020
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
EN-MSE- Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2020 – December 31, 2020
Accelerating the Development of CMAS and Sulfate-Induced Hot Corrosion Resistant Materials through Machine Learning
Source: Materials Research & Design
June 08, 2020 – December 08, 2020
Ceramic Matrix Composite Environmental Barrier Coating Durability Model
Source: Materials Research & Design
February 06, 2019 – February 08, 2020
EN-MSE- Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC - Year 6
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2019 – December 31, 2019
Characterization of thermal properties and chemical stability of High Entropy Rare Earth Monosilicates
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2019 – December 31, 2019
Understanding CMAS Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategy Year 3
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2019 – December 31, 2019
EN-MSE- B2O3 interactions with Rare Earth Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings - 18
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2019 – December 31, 2019
EN-MSE-MRI: Acquisition of an X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer for Chemical Mapping of Evolving Surfaces: A Regional Instrument for Research and Teaching
Source: U.S. NSF - Directorate Math. & Physical Sciences
September 01, 2016 – August 31, 2019
EN-MSE-Oxidation Informed Design of Entropy Stabilized Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics - Fellowship on behalf of Lavina Backman
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
August 01, 2018 – July 31, 2019
EN-MSE Development of Test Protocols and Testing of Marinized Materials for Mixed Mode Hot Corrosion/Oxidation
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
August 01, 2014 – April 30, 2019
EN-MSE- Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2018 – March 31, 2019
EN-MSE- B2O3 interactions with Rare Earth Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings - 18
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Low Temperature Oxidation of a Melt Infiltrated SiC/SiC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2018 – December 31, 2018
Understanding CMAS Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategy Year 2
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2018 – December 31, 2018
EN-MSE Fundamental Measurements and Simulated Engine Environment Test on EBC's
Source: Materials Research & Design
November 01, 2016 – October 31, 2018
EN-MSE High Pressure Oxidation of Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
October 31, 2015 – October 10, 2018
EN-MSE-Oxidation Informed Design of Entropy Stabilized Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics - Fellowship on behalf of Lavina Backman
Source: Virginia Space Grant Consortium
June 01, 2017 – May 31, 2018
EN-MSE- Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2016 – March 31, 2018
EN-MSE Hot Corrosion of SiC-Based Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
June 01, 2015 – March 31, 2018
EN-MSE-Life Prediction Development and Improved CMAS Resistance for Rare Earth Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
April 10, 2014 – December 31, 2017
EN-MSE- B2O3 interactions with Rare Earth Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
July 29, 2016 – December 31, 2017
Calcium-magnesium alumino-silicate (CMAS) interactions with environmental barrier coatings
Source: Materials Research & Design
June 01, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Understanding CMAS Reaction Mechanisms and Mitigation Strategy
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
October 02, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Entropy Stabilized Silicate
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
October 01, 2017 – December 31, 2017
EN-MSE SiC/BN/SiC Oxidation Life Modeling
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
August 13, 2016 – July 31, 2017
EN-MSE SiC/BN/SiC Oxidation Life Modeling
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
August 13, 2016 – July 31, 2017
EN-MSE High Pressure Oxidation of Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
August 16, 2013 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE High Pressure of Ceramic Matric Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
October 31, 2015 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE- Matrix Development for High-Temperature Water Vapor Resistant SiC- Based CMCs
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
June 10, 2016 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE SIC/BN/SIC Oxidation Life Modeling
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
August 01, 2013 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE-SiC/BN/SiC Oxidation Life Modeling
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
August 16, 2013 – December 31, 2016
(EN-MSE Hot Corrosion of SiC-Based Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
June 01, 2011 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE SiC/BN/SiC Oxidation Life Modeling
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
May 01, 2015 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE Matrix Development for Water Vapor Resistant SiC-based Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 01, 2015 – December 31, 2016
EN-MSE Investigation and Coating Degraduation Processes on Modern High-Performance Alloys that Affect Air and Land Vehicle Structural Integrity
Source: U.S. Air Force Academy
September 01, 2012 – November 30, 2016
EN-MSE Environmental Barrier Coating Reaction Kinetics
Source: Materials Research & Design
July 01, 2015 – October 15, 2016
EN-MSE Development and Validation of Recession Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2015 – August 31, 2016
Investigation of Selected Atmospheric Corrosion Processes on Modern High-Performance Ferrous Alloys that Affect Structural Integrity: Development of Predictive Capabilities and Test Methods
Source: U.S. Air Force Academy
April 05, 2010 – September 30, 2015
Investigation of Selected Atmospheric Corrosion Processes on Modern High-Performance Ferrous Alloys that Affect Structural Integrity: Development
Source: U.S. Air Force Academy
October 01, 2011 – September 30, 2015
EN-MSE Development and Validation of Recessino Model for Rare Earth Silicate EBC
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2014 – August 31, 2015
EN-MSE Cross-sectioning and examination of EBC and oxidized specimens
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
November 17, 2014 – May 31, 2015
EN-MSE Matrix Development for Water FVapor Resistant SiC-Based Ceramic Matiix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 03, 2014 – December 31, 2014
EN-MSE Enhanced Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy for Characterization of Light Element Structural Materials and Determination of Corrosion Mechanisms
Source: U.S. DOD - Navy - Office Of Naval Research (Onr)
June 13, 2013 – June 30, 2014
EN-MSE Long Term Stability of Yb-Silicate Environmental Barrier Coatings in Simulated High-Velocity Combustion Environments
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
April 01, 2013 – March 31, 2014
Matrix Development for Water Vapor Resistant SiC-based Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
January 03, 2013 – December 31, 2013
EN-MSE Matrix Development for Water Vapor Resistant SiC-Based Ceramic Matrix Composites
Source: Rolls-Royce Corporation
May 01, 2011 – April 30, 2013
ENGR 2993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Special tutorial with a topic declared in advance. The topic, work plan, and conditions are arranged by contract between instructor and student and approved by the department Chair, with a copy to be filed in the department office.
MSE 4592: Special Topics in Materials Science
Credits: 3
Advanced undergraduate course on topics not normally covered in other course offerings. The topic usually reflects new developments in the materials science and engineering field. Offerings are based on student and faculty interests.
MSE 4960: Special Project in Materials Science and Engineering
Credits: 1–6
A fourth year project in MSE, under the supervision of a faculty member, is designed to give undergraduate students an application of principles learned in the classroom. The work may be experimental or computational, and the student is expected to become proficient in techniques used to process, characterize, or model materials. The project should make use of design principles in the solution of a problem. Six hours in lab per week, notebook. Prerequisite: 4th year standing and prior approval by a faculty member who is project supervisor.
MSE 6230: Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria of Materials
Credits: 3
Emphasizes the understanding of thermal properties such as heat capacity, thermal expansion, and transitions in terms of the entropy and the other thermodynamic functions. Develops the relationships of the Gibbs and Helmholtz functions to equilibrium systems, reactions, and phase diagrams. Atomistic and statistical mechanical interpretations of crystalline and non-crystalline solids are linked to the general thermodynamical laws by the partition function. Nonequilibrium and irreversible processes in solids are discussed. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
MSE 6240: Kinetics of Transport and Transformations in Materials
Credits: 3
An introduction to basic kinetic processes in materials and develops basic mathematical skills necessary for materials research. Students learn to formulate the partial differential equations and boundary conditions used to describe basic materials phenomena in the solid state including mass and heat diffusion in single- and two-phase systems, the motion of planar phase boundaries, and interfacial reactions. Students develop analytical and numerical techniques for solving these equations and apply them to understanding microstructural evolution. Prerequisite: MSE 6230.
MSE 6592: Topics in Material Science
Credits: 3
A study of special subjects related to developments in materials science under the direction of members of the staff. Offered as required under the guidance of a faculty member.
MSE 8999: Masters Degree Research
Credits: 1–12
Formal record of student commitment to master's thesis research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. May be repeated as necessary.
EP 8999: Master's Degree Research
Credits: 1–12
Formal record of student commitment to master's thesis research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. May be repeated as necessary.
EP 9999: Ph.D. Dissertation Research
Credits: 1–12
Formal record of commitment to doctoral research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. May be repeated as necessary.
MSE 9999: PHD Dissertation Research
Credits: 1–12
Formal record of student commitment to doctoral research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. May be repeated as necessary.

Fellow of the Electrochemical Society 2013

Fellow of the American Ceramic Society 2014