Four new faculty members, including three who are tenure-track, are joining the Department of Materials Science and Nanoengineering at Rice University.
They are among this year’s 21 new faculty hires in the George R. Brown School of Engineering. Spanning all nine departments, the new hires further establish the school’s prominence in its key research areas: health and well-being, energy and sustainability, resilient and adaptive communities, advanced materials, and future computing.
This latest group of researchers and teachers includes the largest number of women joining the school in a single hiring season. The new members of the MSNE faculty are:
Lane Martin, full professor: He earned his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008. After a stint at the University of Illinois, and since 2014, he was a faculty member in Berkeley where he rose to be a Chancellor’s Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. In 2021 he became chair of that department and in 2022 was elected chair of the faculty of the College of Engineering. He has published more than 275 journal articles and is a fellow of American Physical Society and the American Ceramics Society. As of July 1, he became director of the new Rice Advanced Materials Institute and Welch Professor of MSNE.
Scott Keene, assistant professor: Keene earned his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford in 2020 and spent the next two years as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Cambridge University. His research focuses on the development of bioelectronic devices which use mixed ionic-electronic conducting polymers to address challenges in neuroengineering. His research interests include neuroelectronic interfaces, fundamentals of organic mixed ionic-electronic conductors, biosensors and organic neuromorphic devices. He will join the Rice faculty on July 1, 2024.
HaeYeon Lee, assistant professor: Lee earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from MIT in 2021 and since then has worked as a postdoctoral research scientist in the Columbia Nano Initiative at Columbia University. Her research interests include understanding fundamental electronic properties of quantum materials (mainly, van der Waals materials) and developing optoelectronic devices. She will join the Rice faculty on Jan. 1, 2024.
Ricardo Zednik, professor in the practice: Zednik earned his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford in 2008, and since 2014 has served as a professor of mechanical engineering in the École de Technologie Supérieure at the Université du Québec. His research focuses on the relationships between structure, geometry and properties of functional materials. He is particularly interested in failure analysis, fracture mechanics and materials degradation in complex materials systems and devices. He joined the Rice faculty on January 1.