Georgia Institute of Technology Selects Robert L. Snyder To Chair Materials Science and Engineering

The Georgia Institute of Technology has selected Robert L. Snyder, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Ohio State University, as the new chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE).

Snyder begins Jan. 2, succeeding Regents’ Professor Ashok Saxena, who has chaired MSE since 1993, but now plans to devote more time to research and teaching in MSE.

Since 1996, Snyder has chaired Ohio State’s MSE department, which comprises 29 faculty, 165 undergraduates and 125 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. Last year the department ranked 15 in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings edition.

Before beginning his tenure at Ohio State, Snyder was a professor of ceramic science for 26 years at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University where he also directed the Institute of Ceramic Superconductivity and continues to hold the honorary title of Professor Emeritus.

“Dr. Snyder brings a wealth of experience to the position of MSE chair,” said Don Giddens, dean of the College of Engineering. “While he was chair at Ohio State, that department moved up in stature significantly, and I believe his enthusiasm, energy and vision are just the right combination for us at this time. He will emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of materials science and engineering in both education and research and will be a fine collaborator with others schools at Georgia Tech. I join the MSE faculty, students and staff in looking forward eagerly to his arrival.”

Georgia Tech’s School of Materials Science and Engineering awards degrees at all levels, and offers courses for students from other disciplines in engineering and science, which allows them to earn a minor in MSE. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the School’s undergraduate program at No. 10 in the nation and the graduate program at No. 11.

The School’s educational and research strengths lie in materials synthesis, materials characterization, and modeling of structure-property-performance relationships of a wide variety of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, biomaterials, electronic, superconducting and photonic and magnetic materials.

Currently the School comprises 21 full-time faculty members and two joint faculty members, 52 undergraduate students and 74 graduate students and 31 post-doctoral researchers.

“Georgia Tech is a national treasure in engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering is one of the best in the world,” Snyder said. “I am delighted to join this distinguished faculty and look forward to working with them to meet the challenges of our ever-changing technology. It will require every bit of the excellence that has been achieved at Georgia Tech to maintain America’s technological leadership, which is being increasingly challenged throughout the world.”

Snyder’s research has focused on understanding and then manipulating the structure-property relationships in advanced materials. He has focused significant effort on developing the method of X-ray powder diffraction as an atomic and microstructural probe. In particular, Snyder has focused on bringing characterization techniques to an in situ, dynamic mode to support the next major development in materials science: computational materials design.

In 1995 he was appointed Professeur Invité at the Université de Rennes in France. He has held visiting appointments at the Siemens Central Research Laboratory in Munich, Germany, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. He has published eleven books, nine chapters and 235 technical papers. He holds eight patents and has delivered over 1,000 talks at conferences, industries, and universities worldwide. Snyder has graduated 20 Ph.D.’s and 20 MS students.