Aziz with flow battery

Prof. Michael J. Aziz in his laboratory with a prototype flow battery. (Photo by Eliza Grinnell/SEAS Communications.)

Michael J. Aziz, Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has received the Bruce Chalmers Award from the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS).

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the science and technology of materials processing. Aziz received the honor for “basic theoretical and experimental contributions to the understanding of solute trapping, laser processing, and ion beam modifications of surfaces.”

“This award is special to me because of the high esteem in which I hold Chalmers, both as a pioneer of solidification and as the founder of the modern materials science effort at Harvard,” Aziz said.

Aziz is also a faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, for which he serves as faculty coordinator for the Graduate Consortium on Energy and Environment. He has made major contributions to a number of fields in applied physics and materials science, including the kinetics of rapid solidification pressure and stress effects on kinetics of diffusion and growth, nonequilibrium surface pattern formation during ion irradiation, and applications of materials synthesized utilizing nonequilibrium kinetics.

His recent research interests involve new materials and processes for energy technology and greenhouse gas mitigation. Aziz leads a team that is currently developing novel flow batteries designed to make storage of energy from intermittent renewable sources, like solar and wind, safe and affordable. He is also using the basic understanding of laser processing and ion beam modification to make nonequilibrium materials and structures with potential applications in photovoltaics, photodetectors, and nuclear fusion reactor walls.

The TMS award is named in honor of Bruce Chalmers, former Gordon McKay Professor of Metallurgy in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Chalmers served on the Harvard faculty from 1953 until his retirement in 1977. In addition to teaching and research activities, he was also master of the John Winthrop House for many years. An international authority on metallurgy, he wrote one of the landmark textbooks in the field of solidification and metal casting, “Principles of Solidification,” which was published in 1964. Chalmers died in 1990 at age 82.