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""Philipp Steinmetz, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the department of Materials Science and Engineering, recently received the UAB Extraordinary First-Year Postdoc Award. Steinmetz was presented with the award at the annual Postdoctoral Scholar Appreciation Lunch and Award Ceremony, where he was also nominated for the Excellent Peer Award.

Steinmetz came to UAB after earning B.S. and  M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Karlsuhe Institute of Technology in Germany where he also collaborated with the German Aerospace Center.

His research focuses on the directional solidification of eutectic alloys. “In my research project, I studied the directional solidification of ternary eutectic Al-Al2Cu-Ag2Al as part of a NASA project,” explains Steinmetz. “During ternary eutectic solidification, the three solid phases evolve coupled from the melt at a defined composition and temperature. Depending on the process conditions, they form various patterns, which result in different material properties.”

To analyze these microstructures, Steinmetz’s team was granted synchrotron time at the Advanced Photon Source, which revealed the three-dimensional structure of the samples.

Part of the results, obtained in a collaboration together with four other research groups from the USA, Germany and Turkey, were published in the journal Acta Materialia.

In addition to his research, Steinmetz supervises MSE students in the lab and has assisted in repairing and improving the furnaces at the MPAD.