UCSB Materials will welcome Assistant Professor Daniel Oropeza on July 1, 2023. Prof. Oropeza’s research explores new materials and manufacturing technologies, while mapping correlations between process parameters, material microstructure, and component properties. His research will couple fundamentals from material science and mechanical engineering, spanning the study of material synthesis and characterization, machine and equipment design, and manufacturing process fundamentals, to develop next-generation alloys and ceramic materials. Initial research activities will aim to synthesize, process, and characterize novel high-temperature alloys, magnetic materials, and functional ceramics. These research efforts have application and impact in the areas of hypersonics, sustainable aviation, space exploration, healthcare, and energy generation.
Prof. Oropeza will foster an environment which celebrates curiosity, enthusiasm, inclusion, and collaboration and he is looking forward to mentoring students as they develop into independent researchers and leaders in their field. As part of his group, students will develop a broad range of experimental skills, including alloy synthesis, machine design, additive manufacturing, and materials characterization. Prof. Oropeza’s group will benefit from the multidisciplinary research environment of the Materials Department and will include collaborations with groups in the Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering departments.
Prof. Oropeza is coming to UCSB from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he currently is a postdoctoral fellow. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, he has spent time in industry working as a research engineer for advanced materials and manufacturing technologies at Lockheed Martin. His Ph.D. studies explored the fundamentals of binder jet additive manufacturing and led to the development of novel binders to enable geometric and microstructural control of ceramic materials during post-process sintering. In his post-doctoral studies, he correlated additive manufacturing process parameters to microstructure and thermomechanical properties of metallic materials and explored the mechanics of deployable lunar structures.
Welcome, Professor Oropeza!