- Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1999
- M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 1995
- B.S. in Chemical Engineering with honors, summa cum laude, Lafayette College, 1994
Dr. Raj Vaidyanathan joined UCF in 2001 in the Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering Department and is currently a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. He is a recipient of several teaching and research awards including a National Science Foundation CAREER award, UCF’s Research Incentive Award, UCF’s Teaching Incentive Award and a TMS/Japan Institute of Metals (JIM) Young Leader International Scholar Award. At UCF, he has established a world-class program in the research and development of shape memory alloys. The program has had a tremendous impact and has placed UCF’s doctoral students in prominent careers in shape memory alloys (e.g., at NASA, Boeing, Saes Getters, etc). The characterization tools employed include in situ neutron diffraction at stress and temperature at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak National Laboratory. His research has been supported by NSF, ONR, NASA GRC, NASA KSC, DoD, DoE, Siemens Power, Medtronic, ASRC, Qinetiq, State of Florida, among others and has led to several publications, presentations, and patents. His former students have been successfully employed at NASA, Intel, SAES Getters, Caterpillar, Siemens, Boeing, Medtronic, Harris Corporation, etc.
- Design, fabrication and testing of shape memory alloy actuators and devices
- In situ neutron diffraction studies at stress and temperature in shape memory alloys at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Development and characterization of low temperature shape memory alloys for spaceport technologies
- Development and characterization of high temperature shape memory alloys for aerospace applications
- Spectrometer development at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory
At UCF, Dr. Raj Vaidyanathan has established a world-class program in the research and development of shape memory alloys. The program has had tremendous impact and has placed UCF’s doctoral students in prominent careers in shape memory alloys (e.g., at NASA, Boeing, Saes Getters etc). He has partnered with prestigious partners and has been supported by very competitive awards from funding agencies and major multi-national corporations (e.g., NSF including CAREER, ONR, NASA GRC, NASA KSC, DoD, DoE, Siemens Power, Medtronic, St. Jude, ASRC, Qinetiq, State of Florida). He is also an active member in the Consortium for the Advancement of Shape Memory Alloy Research and Technology, which includes Boeing, GM, NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Langley Research Center, among its members.
While his core area of research expertise has been shape memory alloys, he has made an impact in the broader area of mechanical behavior of materials. Following the NASA Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, he received funding to use nanoindentation in his laboratory to determine the hardness of debris from the solid rocket booster separation motors. These results were presented to a NASA return-to-flight evaluation committee. When cracks were observed in the flowliner during routine inspections of the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery leading to the grounding of the entire space shuttle fleet, he worked with engineers at NASA Kennedy Space Center and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to test flowliner coupons at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Furthermore, he has received funding for several projects from local industry, including several Florida High Tech Corridor Council grants.
His expertise has also impacted two premier national laboratories. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, he was instrumental in developing a user facility that allowed for the simultaneous neutron diffraction and mechanical loading at cryogenic temperatures. This was done in partnership with NASA Kennedy Space Center. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he was the principal investigator on a UCF-NASA-Oak Ridge National Laboratory User Partnership for Sample Environment Equipment Development Proposal that has been implemented to develop a user facility for simultaneous axial-torsion loading and heating.
He has also partnered with researchers at NASA Glenn Research Center in the area of shape memory alloys and with engineers at NASA Kennedy Space Center and their contractors in the area of shape memory alloys and mechanical testing. This research partnership has led to patents co-invented by UCF faculty and students, NASA Glenn Research Center and Kennedy Space Center engineers. From Siemens he has received funding to investigate a seal failure, measure residual stresses in a turbine blade component and develop innovative variable tip clearance turbine blade technologies using shape memory alloys. With Medtronic and St Jude Medical, he is modifying alloys so that they can exhibit reduced heating in a magnetic resonance imaging environment while maintaining their original mechanical properties.
- E. Nicholson, S.A. Padula II, R.D. Noebe, O. Benafan and R. Vaidyanathan, “Thermomechanical Behavior of NiTiPdPt High Temperature Shape Memory Alloy Springs”, Smart Mater Struct, 23 (2014) 125009.
- Benafan, W. Notardonato and R. Vaidyanathan, “Design and development of a shape memory alloy activated heat pipe based thermal switch”, Smart Mater Struct, 22 10 (2013) 105017.
- Benafan, R.D. Noebe, S.A. Padula II, A. Garg, B. Clausen, S. Vogel and R. Vaidyanathan, “Temperature dependent deformation of B2 austenite in a NiTi shape-memory alloy”, Int J Plasticity 51 (2013) 103.
- Benafan, R.D. Noebe, S.A. Padula II and R. Vaidyanathan, “Microstructural response during isothermal and isobaric loading of a precipitation strengthened Ni-29.7Ti-20Hf high-temperature shape-memory alloy”, Met Trans A 43 A (2012) 4539.
- Qiu, S.A Padula, R.D. Noebe, D.J. Gaydosh and R. Vaidyanathan, “On elastic moduli and elastic anisotropy in polycrystalline martensitic NiTi”, Acta Mater. 59, (2011), 5055.