After an international search, Mark Asta has been named the new Materials Sciences Division Director. His new appointment will begin on Jan. 1, 2018.
For the past seven years, Asta has been a faculty scientist in the Materials Sciences Division and an active member of its core programs. He is also a professor and department chair of Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley. His research interests include the development and application of atomic-scale computational modeling for the prediction of equilibrium and kinetic properties of materials, and for computationally aided materials discovery and design. His work has included numerous contributions to the science of crystalline interfaces in materials, as well as the modeling of disordered materials. He currently holds the Arthur C. and Phyllis G. Oppenheimer Endowed Chair for Advanced Materials Analysis at UC Berkeley. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a recipient of the ASM Silver Medal, the Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award from the TMS Functional Materials Division, and the TMS William Hume-Rothery Award.
Asta received his Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary Materials Physics program at UC Berkeley in 1993. He was a postdoc and then a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, from 1993-2000. He joined the faculty of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in 2000, and returned to California as a faculty member at UC Davis in 2005.
He moved to UC Berkeley in 2010, and became Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in 2012. Under his leadership, the MSE Department recruited six new faculty members, improved its national and global rankings, saw sizeable growth in its undergraduate and graduate student enrollments and research expenditures, and completed a strategic planning process and major program review. Asta will be stepping down from his current role as MSE Chair to serve as the Lab’s Materials Sciences Division Director.