Physical Metallurgy and Materials Design Laboratory

Bridge Scientific Fundamentals and Engineering Applications

The physical metallurgy and materials design (PMMD) lab is located at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh. The PMMD lab performs research on different kinds of advanced materials targeting ultra-high performance in various engineering applications. The design fundamental tool is an integration of key experiments, atomistic modeling, CALPHAD materials thermodynamics and diffusion kinetics, which are indispensable for microstructure optimization. The multidisciplinary research combines efforts on physical metallurgy, applied mechanics, quantum mechanics, hierarchy of materials microstructure characterization, and thermodynamic behavior analysis. The PMMD lab has close collaborations with many national labs and industrial companies, such as Thermo-Calc Software Inc, NIST, QuesTek Innovations LLC, Quad City Manufacturing Lab, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Kennametal Inc., United Technology Research Center, and Argonne National Lab.

Strongly self-motivated students and researchers with high interests exactly on phase transformations and materials/processing design are welcome to join the PMMD lab. If you want to know more about our lab, please directly visit the comprehensive research webite of our lab:









Research with Excellence

We perform both experiments and simulation to design and discover new materials based on scientific fundamentals

Our current research are but not limited to: (1) Thermodynamic and kinetic investigation of strengthening in engineering alloys (2) Materials and processing design in advanced manufacturing (3) Modern computational thermodynamics of hard and soft matters (4) High throughput experimental methods and materials design database development (5) Model development for process-structure and structure-property relations for alloy and processing design. ​Our current funding resources are from Pitt, DOE, NSF, NASA, and ONR.



CALPHAD: Calculation of Phase Diagrams is our research methodology in alloy thermodynamics and diffusion kinetics.



ICME (Integrated Computational Materials Engineering) technique enables us to perform alloy and manufacturign design.


Physical Metallurgy

We perform research based on fundamental physical metallurgy to achieve better understanding of process-structure-property-performance of materials.


Advanced Alloy Design

We are interested in different kinds of alloys, which include but not limited to: light-weight alloys, superalloys, high entropy alloys, and alloy powder for additive manufacturing.


Materials Informatics

Based on the CALPHAD approach, we establish materials genome database to improve the quality of model-prediction in materials design.


Advanced Manufacturing

We perform experiments to manufacture real alloy components validating our models. We further collaborate with industrial partners for commercialization.

We are grateful to the research sponsors to support us in physical metallurgy and materials design.

Join Us

Get started with us to explore the exciting of materials science. Embark on a transformative journey with us as you delve into the captivating realm of materials science. It is imperative that applicants possess a well-defined and resolute career goal pertaining to the pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in materials science. If uncertainty clouds your future aspirations or the rationale behind venturing into doctoral studies in this field, we advise against reaching out to us at this time. Experience has shown that candidates with ambiguous career goals may encounter challenges even after enrollment. While we celebrate numerous success stories, we have also learned valuable lessons from instances where unclear objectives led to unfavorable outcomes. Therefore, we encourage prospective applicants to reflect on their motivations and goals before engaging with our research group.


Please learn information from this website to know the research at the PMMD lab. Please make sure to visit the opening page to learn about different opportunities. We recommend you direct contact with Dr. Wei Xiong first before you submit your application online in the system.

Contact Us

If you are a student at Pitt, please feel free to book a time with Prof. Xiong for a face-to-face discussion. If you apply for a graduate/postdoc position, please make sure to contact Prof. Xiong with required documents in the email. Please understand that we will not be able to reply to every email, especially, if you do not have a good fit or the requested documents (all transcripts, CV, and cover letter) provided in the email.


Usually, we will have two interview sessions over the Skype to make sure the best fit. We hope that the PMMD Lab is the one that you want to spend time with. We understand that we will be together for several golden years, and thus want to make sure the choice is the best for each other.

Latest News & Media Reports

Get latest breaking news & top stories today.
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A Deeper Look into Metal Additive Manufacturing Material Properties

30 Mar 2017 Tom Kevan

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have been working with ANSYS to...

Accelerated Insertion of Materials for Additive Manufacturing

1 Nov 2018 Paul Kovach

Thanks to a $750,000 award from NASA, researchers from QuesTek Innovations and the University of Pittsburgh...

PMMD lab published papers in Science Advances and Nature Communications

1 Dec 2022 PMMD Admin

It is exciting to know that the PMMD lab has published two papers in top level academic journals...

Outreach Activities

We work closely with our engineering school office to serve the community. And we are open to suggestions creating new outreach activities. Please feel free to contact us if you have needs in materials science and manufacturing. We are confident that a good outreach activity can be developed under the efforts by both university and community. Below are just two examples that we typically designed for STAM students including Pitt undergraduate students.

Designed for All Students

Learning Methods to Determine Process-Microstructure-Property Relationships for Advanced Manufacturing and Materials

Possible time: 08:00 AM - 5:00 PM Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh

Contact Us
Designed for Senior Students

Hands-on Experience on Manufacturing Processes and A Close Look Into the Applications of Materials Science in Manufacturing

Possible time: 08:00 AM - 5:00 PM Benedum Hall, University of Pittsburgh

Contact Us

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