Carol Handwerker

Carol Handwerker

Reinhardt Schuhmann, Jr. Professor of Materials Engineering & Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Contact Information

Phone: +1 765 49-40147
School of Materials Engineering
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering
701 West Stadium Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045


  • Sc.D. Ceramics, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 1983
  • S.M. Ceramics, MIT, 1978
  • S.B. Material Science and Engineering, MIT, 1978
  • B.A. Art History, Wellesley College, 1973

Employment History

  • Purdue University, School of Materials Engineering, Professor - 2005 – present.
  • Chief, Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce, Gaithersburg MD - 1996 – 2005.
  • Group Leader – Materials Structure and Characterization Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology – 1994 - 1996.
  • Metallurgist – Metallurgical Processing Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology - 1986 - 1993.
  • NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, National Bureau of Standards - 1984 - 1985.
  • Max Planck Institut for Metallforschung – Stuttgart, Visiting Scientist at PML, September-October 1979; October 1985; Smithsonian Institution – Research Associate, Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Washington, DC, Research, Materials development in ancient technologies, June 1986 - June 1987.

Research Interests

Develop and apply thermodynamic and kinetic theory and experiments of phase transformations and interface motion to solve important industrial and scientific problems. Current research includes: Understanding how specific microstructures can be designed in poycrystalline materials and thin films by control of interface properties Developing models for how single crystal nanowires nucleate and grow using the VLS (vapor-liquid-solid) method Improving the manufacturing and reliability of the current generation of Pb-free solder interconnects on printed circuit boards Developing new nanoparticle-based interconnect structures for next generation circuit assembly

Carol Handwerker Research Interests


  • MSE 230 Structure and Properties of Materials
  • ENGR 103 - Materials that Impact our Lives: Electronics, Energy and the Environment