The John E. Hilliard Memorial Lecture & Symposium

John E. Hilliard
May 14, 1926 -- April 21, 1987


John E. Hilliard joined the Northwestern faculty in 1962 and taught here for the next quarter century. Born and educated in the United Kingdom, he received a PhD from the University of Liverpool. There followed a postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and six years at the General Electric Research Laboratory before he came to Northwestern.

Professor Hilliard was an inspiring teacher for not only his students but also his colleagues and the wider metallurgical community. His work included four areas of research: the study of the thermodynamic and kinetic processes in inhomogeneous systems; the quantitative characterization of structure; the theoretical and experimental study of spinodal decomposition; and the synthesis and investigation of compositionally modulated films. The last two areas represent pioneering work cited with enormous frequency.

The John E. Hilliard Symposium

The John E. Hilliard Symposium is the Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s annual capstone event, where we highlight the original research of senior graduate students. Now in its 31th year, the symposium encourages communication between the department and representatives of companies and agencies that support our work. It is also an opportunity to welcome back alumni who are in the audience.

2014 Hilliard Symposium Invitation and MSE Alumni Banquet Registration

2014 Keynote Speaker

The 2014 Hilliard Symposium Presenters

2014 Hilliard Schedule

The John E. Hilliard Memorial Lecture

The Hilliard Memorial Lecture is given by recipients of honorary doctoral degrees from Northwestern University who have been nominated by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Previous Speakers

Date Title Speaker Host
May 15, 2014 "Can "Nano" Save the World or will it Just Make it Smaller?" Andrea Hodge Laurence Marks
May 16, 2013 "Materials: An Aerospace Perspective" Todd Steyer,
The Boeing Company
Laurence Marks
May 17, 2012     "Fifty Years Since Hilliard Made All Things Diffuse at NU:
The Joys and Never-Ending Challenges of Diffuse Interfaces"

John Cahn,
University of Washington 

Laurence Marks
May 19, 2011 "Engineer in Business:
Notes from 'The Dark Side'"

Dmitry Shashkov,
H.C. Starck's Inc. 

Katherine Faber
May 20, 2010 "Making Cyber Steels Fly"

Charles Kuehmann,
QuesTek Innovations 

Yip-Wah Chung
May 14, 2009 "Directing Self Assembly and Defect Formation in Compound Semiconductors"

Joanna Mirecki Millunchick,
University of Michigan 

Yip-Wah Chung
May 15, 2008 "From the Ivory Tower to the Factory Floor: and NU Metallurgist Tries to Vertically Integrate"

Christopher Schuh,

Michael Bedzyk
May 17, 2007 "From Y-Ba-Cu-O to Wall Street:
Observations from a Random Walk into the Investment World"

Boris Vuchic,
Pennant Capital 

Michael Bedzyk
May 25, 2006 "A Personal Journey with Intel Corporation"

Dr. Michelle St. Louis-Weber,
Intel Corporation 

Katherine Faber
May 12, 2005 "Friction, Fracture & Biomechanics:
The Materials Science Behind Bearing, Barnacles & Spider Silk"

Kathryn Wahl,

Katherine Faber
May 13, 2004 "Building Carbon Nanotube Architectures for Applications"

Prof. P.M. Ajayan,

Laurence Marks
May 13, 2003 "Industrial Materials Science – Views from a Career"

Dr. Michael J. Radler,
The Dow Chemical Company 

Buckley Crist
May 9, 2002    "Nondestructive Thermographic Detection
of Fatigue Damage of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels:
Experiments and Theoretical Modeling"

Prof. Peter K. Liaw,
University of Tennessee 

Buckley Crist
May 10, 2001 "DND-CAT Materials Research at the Advanced Photon Source"

Dr. John Quintana,
Argonne National Laboratory 

Buckley Crist
May 11, 2000 "Building a Successful Career at a Public Research Institution"

Prof. Elizabeth C. Dickey,
University of Kentucky 

May 20, 1999 "Professional Service: Opportunities and Obligations"

Prof. Julia Weertman

May 1998 Composites

Prof. Anthony Kelly,
University of Cambridge 

May 8, 1997 "Now and Future Automotive"

Gary M. Crosbie,
Ford Motor Company 

May 9, 1996 "From Gibbsian to First Principles Thermodynamics via Cahn and Hilliard"

Didier de Fontaine,
University of California at Berkeley 

May 11, 1995 "Research Interests of the Air Force in the Area of Ceramics"

Dr. Alexander Pechenik,
Air Force Office of Scientific Research 

May 12, 1994 "Developing Winning Products-In Theory"

Harry Cook,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

May 13, 1993 "Basic Materials Research and U.S. Competitiveness"

Brian R.T. Frost,
Argonne National Laboratory 

May 14, 1992 "Innovation, or How Research Is Put to Work in the Marketplace"

Donald Frey,
Northwestern University 

May 16, 1991 "Materials Choices and the Environment:
A Case Study in Packaging"

Lewis Erwin,
Northwestern University 

May 3, 1990 "Past, Present, and Future"

Morris Fine,
Northwestern University 

May 18, 1989 "Advanced Materials: Will the U.S. Lead or Follow?"

Lyle Schwartz,
National Institute for Standards & Technology 

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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