Faculty Directory
Peter W. Voorhees

Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 2036
Evanston, IL 60208

Email Peter Voorhees


Voorhees Research Group


Materials Science and Engineering


PhD Program in Applied Physics

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Ph.D. Materials Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

B.S. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Research Interests

The Voorhees research group is focused on the kinetics of phase transformations using experiment, simulation, and theory.  These phase transformations range from the growth of nanowires from the vapor and graphene, to the solidification of alloys.  We measure the evolution of interfacial morphology during phase transformations using techniques such as time resolved three-dimensional X-ray tomography and automated serial sectioning.  Our recent studies on simulations of phase transformations include work on a method to follow the atomic structure of a material on diffusional time scales and the growth of oxides on metal surfaces.  We also combine the experiments with simulations by using the measured three-dimensional interfacial morphologies as initial conditions in simulations and then comparing the results of the simulations and experiment at some later time.  Through our involvement in Northwestern’s Center for Hierarchical Materials Design, we use these models to design materials with novel properties, such as Si-based insitu composite materials.

Significant Recognition

  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016
  • Fellow, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, 2013
  • J. Willard Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award, ASM International, 2013
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, Material Physics Division, 2005
  • Highly Cited Researcher, Institute for Scientific Information, 2002
  • Fellow, ASM International, 2001
  • Materials Science and Engineering Teacher of the Year, 1999
  • Outstanding Referee, Acta Materialia, 1998
  • ASM International Materials Science Division Research Award (Silver Medal), 1992
  • McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science Award for Teaching Excellence, 1992
  • Acta Metallurgica et Materialia Outstanding Paper Award, 1991
  • Materials Science and Engineering Teacher of the Year, 1989, 1990
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1989

Significant Professional Service

  • Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, 2000
  • National Science Foundation Creativity Extension, 1999

Selected Publications

  • Xiao Xiang Yu, Ahmet Gulec, Quentin Sherman, Katie Lutton Cwalina, John R. Scully, John H. Perepezko, Peter W Voorhees, Laurence Marks, “Nonequilibrium Solute Capture in Passivating Oxide Films”, Physical Review Letters, (2018)
  • Kyoungdoc Kim, Peter W Voorhees, “Ostwald ripening of spheroidal particles in multicomponent alloys”, Acta Materialia, (2018)
  • Erica T. Lilleodden, Peter W Voorhees, “On the topological, morphological, and microstructural characterization of nanoporous metals”, MRS Bulletin, (2018)
  • Kyoungdoc Kim, Arijit Roy, M. P. Gururajan, Christopher M Wolverton, Peter W Voorhees, “First-principles/Phase-field modeling of ?? precipitation in Al-Cu alloys”, Acta Materialia, (2017)
  • Yue Sun, Ahmet Cecen, John W. Gibbs, Surya R. Kalidindi, Peter W. Voorhees, “Analytics on large microstructure datasets using two-point spatial correlations”, Acta Materialia, (2017)
  • Jin Zhang, Stefan O. Poulsen, John W. Gibbs, Peter W. Voorhees, Henning F. Poulsen, “Determining material parameters using phase-field simulations and experiments”, Acta Materialia, (2017)
  • Akinori Yamanaka, Kevin McReynolds, Peter W. Voorhees, “Phase field crystal simulation of grain boundary motion, grain rotation and dislocation reactions in a BCC bicrystal”, Acta Materialia, (2017)
  • T. Cool, P. W. Voorhees, “The evolution of dendrites during coarsening”, Acta Materialia, (2017)
  • Kevin McReynolds, Kuo An Wu, Peter Voorhees, “Grain growth and grain translation in crystals”, Acta Materialia, (2016)
  • Robert S. Weatherup, Ashwin J. Shahani, Zhu Jun Wang, Ken Mingard, Andrew J. Pollard, Marc Georg Willinger, Robert Schloegl, Peter W. Voorhees, Stephan Hofmann, “In Situ Graphene Growth Dynamics on Polycrystalline Catalyst Foils”, Nano Letters, (2016)
  • Ashwin J. Shahani, Xianghui Xiao, Peter W. Voorhees, “The mechanism of eutectic growth in highly anisotropic materials”, Nature Communications, (2016)
  • S. O. Poulsen, P. W. Voorhees, “Early stage phase separation in ternary alloys”, Acta Materialia, (2016)
  • Ashwin J. Shahani, E. Begum Gulsoy, Stefan O. Poulsen, Xianghui Xiao, Peter W. Voorhees, “Twin-mediated crystal growth”, Scientific Reports, (2016)