En Ma


Research Interests

Computational Materials Science, Structural Materials, and Nanostructured & Metastable Materials

En “Evan” Ma, honored as a Fellow by the Materials Research Society (MRS) in 2015, is renowned for his leadership in understanding and engineering the internal atomic-level structure of the highly interesting and promising amorphous metals (metallic glasses). He is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Among Ma’s contributions to the advancement of the foundational understanding of structure-property relations in glasses, metals, and alloys is his recent work on phase-change materials (used in DVDs to computer random-access memory), which opened an avenue to creating faster computing speed. He and his collaborators have developed chalcogenide glasses that can crystallize in less than a nanosecond. In addition, to probe the limit of mechanical properties of metals, Ma and a team of international researchers created metallic crystals that are far stronger than commonly used metals, using a new technique called cyclic healing or repeated gentle stretching to eliminate pre-existing defects that inevitably exist in metals formed in conventional manufacturing.

In addition to the prestigious MRS Fellowship, Ma’s numerous honors include being named a Fellow of ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals) and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He served as a member of the International Committee on Nanostructure Materials, a member of the MRS Awards and Membership committees, and past chair of the ASM A.E. White Award Selection Committee. He won the 2011 Senior Scientist Prize, 18th International Symposium on Metastable, Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Materials (ISMANAM) and the Materials Science Research Silver Medal (from ASM International). Since 2002, Ma has been consistently made Thomson Reuters’ annual list of the most highly cited (top 1 percent) materials science researchers. He has published more than 320 articles in refereed journals, with 34,000-plus citations and an h-index of 97, according to Google Scholars.


A highly sought-after lecturer, Ma has delivered more than 140 invited and keynote talks at international conferences and more than 90 invited seminars at academic institutions. He also has organized numerous symposia at conferences, reviewed articles for Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, and many other journals. He served on the Board of Review for Metallurgical Transactions, was co-editor of Taylor & Francis Series in Materials Science and Engineering and has guest-edited three MRS Bulletin Special Issues.

Ma holds a BS in Materials Science and Solid-State Physics (1982), an MS in Materials Science and Engineering (1985), and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering (1989), all from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (thesis at California Institute of Technology).

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