Professor Carlos G. Levi named the Mehrabian Endowed Chair in Materials

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Materials Department is pleased to announce a new professorship, the Mehrabian Endowed Chair in Materials.  Professor Carlos G. Levi will be the inaugural recipient of this Endowed Chair. Professor Levi is a dedicated educator and world-renowned researcher in the area of inorganic materials for thermo-structural applications, with emphasis on high temperature engineered coatings and composites that improve efficiency and reduce emissions in energy and transportations systems.  Levi is an international authority on zirconia-based ceramic coatings for aircraft engine components.  His recent research has uncovered the mechanisms by which by molten silicate deposits (CMAS) from volcanic ash, sand and high pollution environments around the world cause accelerated degradation of aircraft engine components with these coatings.  He has developed mitigation strategies and novel coating compositions resistant to these failure scenarios.  Levi has also made seminal contributions to the understanding of microstructure evolution for large deviations from equilibrium and has developed novel synthesis routes for intermetallics, discontinuously reinforced metal matrix composites and all-oxide based fiber composites having damage tolerance.  His contributions have recently been recognized by his election as Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and by the Morris Cohen Award for career research excellence from the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). Professor Levi received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1981 and joined UCSB as an Assistant Professor of Materials and Mechanical Engineering in 1984, advancing to the rank of Professor in 1992. 

The Mehrabian Endowed Chair in Materials is established through a generous gift from Robert and Victoria Mehrabian.  Robert and Victoria Mehrabian are longtime friends and benefactors of UC Santa Barbara.  Dr. Mehrabian served as Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara from 1983 to 1990.  He transformed and expanded the College over those years and established the Materials Department in 1987.  His vision catalyzed a collaborative environment for faculty and advanced the College to international prominence.  Dr. Mehrabian is currently the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne Technologies.  He began his corporate executive career in July 1997 as senior vice president in charge of the Aerospace and Electronics segment of Allegheny Teledyne.  Dr. Mehrabian's academic career spanned almost thirty years, starting at MIT in 1968 as an Assistant Professor and concluding as president of Carnegie Mellon University 1990 – 1997.  Mehrabian moved to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) in 1975, where he was a Professor of Metallurgy and Professor of Mechanical Engineering from 1975 to 1979.  Following this, he spent four years in the Senior Executive Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, first as the Chief of the Metallurgy Division of the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and then as director of the Center for Materials Science, where he initiated numerous government/industry programs that became models for such cooperative efforts. 

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Awards and Accolades