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Faculty Spotlight

MSE Faculty members lead several research efforts to make fundamental discoveries in materials, develop new technologies, and create new processes and products. They are members and fellows of international scientific societies that recognize distinguished achievement, including ACS, ASEE, ASM International, ASME, American Ceramic Society, MRS, SAMPE. Society of Experimental Mechanics, TMS, and many more. Faculty have also received highly competitive NSF Career and PECASE awards.

Dr. Pankaj Sarin

Dr. Pankaj Sarin

Dr. Pankaj Sarin is an Associate Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at OSU. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2002. He worked as a research associate and as a lecturer in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UIUC before joining the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Oklahoma State University as an Assistant Professor in July 2013. Dr. Sarin has an extensive background in materials research. He is widely recognized in the materials community for his expertise in high temperature studies on ceramics, as well as in the environmental community for his work in iron corrosion scales in drinking water distribution pipes. He has published widely in leading journals in materials research, crystallography, scientific instrumentation, and in environmental research.

Dr. Sarin’s research interests are in fundamental understanding of atomic structure, ordering, crystal chemistry, microstructure and their relationship with material properties in functional ceramic materials. He is particularly interested in developing ceramic materials for applications such as energy conversion, energy storage, aerospace, and water treatment. His research utilizes a wide range of advanced materials characterization methods which include (a) in-situ high temperature diffraction and total scattering (up to 2000°C in air; up to 1750°C in controlled environment) using a lamp furnace at synchrotron facilities, (b) Rietveld and PDF analysis, (c) X-ray micro-CT, (d) porosimetry and gas adsorption/desorption, (e) electron microscopy, (f) thermal analysis methods, and (g) various spectroscopic methods such as EIS, UV-Vis, FTIR, Raman, and XRF.


His current research areas are high temperature phase transformations in ceramic materials, novel materials for water treatment, and characterization of multimodal porosity in natural and man-made materials. Dr. Sarin (bottom) currently has three graduate students in his research group. Christine Watson (top) is working on developing inexpensive ceramic composite ultrafiltration membranes for produced water treatment. Stephen Polkowski (left) is designing efficient electrocoagulation technology for produced water treatment. Rohit Bukka (right) is investigating methods to understand porosity and permeability extending over a wide range, in porous solids including shales and concrete. Recent graduates from Dr. Sarin’s group include Gizem Topal (MS, 2020) and Daniel Lowry (Ph.D., 2019). Gizem Topal designed novel adsorbents for harvesting nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from poultry litter. Dr. Daniel Lowry explored various doping/substitution approaches towards controlling the high temperature ferroelastic phase transformations in rare-earth orthoniobates. He is currently employed at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.

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