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Leon L. Shaw, Ph.D.

Leon L. Shaw
Rowe Family Chair Professor in Sustainable Energy
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering









Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, and Minor in Mechanics and Engineering Science, University of Florida, USA, 1992
M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, USA, 1992
M. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering, Fuzhou University, China, 1987
B.S. in Materials Engineering, Fuzhou University, China, 1980


The research activities in Shaw’s group focus on synthesis and processing of advanced materials for energy, biomedical, and structural applications. Several projects are taking place concurrently, which include:

  • investigation of novel hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell vehicles,
  • synthesis and fabrication of novel electrode chemistry and architecture for electrochemical capacitors, Li-ion and Na-ion batteries,
  • solid freeform fabrication of novel solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with graded composition and microstructure,
  • integrated mechanical and thermal activation (IMTA) processing of nanostructured WC/Co, SiC and Si3N4 with superior mechanical properties.

The superior properties of the aforementioned materials are achieved through new chemical compositions, novel processing techniques, and innovative microstructure control. High energy ball milling, wet chemical synthesis (e.g. co-precipitation and sol-gel processing), sintering, solid freeform fabrication, and integrated mechanical and thermal activation are just several examples of the processing techniques that we have studied in order to attain novel properties for energy, biomedical, and structural applications.


Key Scientific Article Contributing to the Excellence in Energy Research featured by Renewable Energy Global Innovations in June 2015

Keynote Presentation at Cleantech 2014: High Voltage, High Capacity, Ambient Temperature Sodium-Based Flow Batteries, Washington DC, June 15-19, 2014

Keynote Presentation at ISPlasma2013: Energy Storage Enabled by Nanomaterials and Advanced Processing, Nagoya, Japan, January 28 - February 1, 2013

NSF Highlights: “Next Generation Bone Implants: More Like the Real Thing” for the NSF Project: Functionally Graded Orthopedic Implants via the Slurry Mixing and Dispensing Process, 2011

The John & Virginia Towers Distinguished Lecture, Michigan Technological University, 2010

Member, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), 2006

“Highly Commended Paper for Excellence 2006” by Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006

Outstanding Faculty Member of the Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering Department, UConn, 2006

Fellow, the World Academy of Materials and Manufacturing Engineering (AMME), Poland, 2005

Fellow, ASM International, 2004

Professional Society Memberships 

Member, John Jeppson Award Committee of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS)

Member, THERMEC Executive Committee

Contributing Editor, Journal of the American Ceramic Society

Editorial Board Member, Batteries

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials

Editorial Board Member, Dataset Papers in Nanotechnology

Member, American Ceramic Society

Member, ASM International

Member, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society


M. Ashuri, Q. He and L. Shaw, "Silicon as potential anode material for Li-ion batteries: where size, geometry and structure matter," Nanoscale, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5NR05116A.

L. Chen, Y. Liu, F. Zhang, C. Liu and L. Shaw, "PVP-assisted synthesis of uniform carbon-coated Li2S/CB for high performance lithium sulfur batteries," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b07331.

L. Chen, Y. Liu, N. Dietz-Rago and L. Shaw, "Bottom-up, hard template and scalable approaches toward designing nanostructured Li2S for high performance lithium sulfur batteries," Nanoscale, 7, 18071-18080 (2015).

C. Wang, M. Sawicki, J. Kaduk and L. Shaw, "Roles of processing, structural defects and ionic conductivity in electrochemical performance of Na3MnCO3PO4 cathode material," J. Electrochem. Soc., 162 (8) A1601-A1609 (2015).

Z. Ding, X. Zhao and L. Shaw, "Reaction between LiBH4 and MgH2 induced by high-energy ball milling," J. Power Sources, 293, 236-245 (2015).

S. Emani, C. Wang, L. Shaw and Z. Chen, "On the hardness of submicrometer-sized WC-Co materials," Mater. Sci. Eng., 628, 98-103 (2015).

M. Sawicki and L. Shaw, "Advances and challenges of sodium ion batteries as post lithium ion batteries," RSC Advances, 5, 53129-53154 (2015).

J. S. Shamie, C. Liu, L. Shaw and V.L. Sprenkle, "Room temperature, hybrid sodium-based flow batteries with multi-electron transfer redox reactions," Scientific Reports, 5, 11215; DOI: 10.1038/srep11215 (2015).

C. Wang, M. Sawicki, S. Emani, C. Liu and L. Shaw, "Na3MnCO3PO4 – A high capacity, multi-electron transfer redox cathode material for sodium ion batteries," Electrochimica Acta, 161, 322-328 (2015).

L. Chen, Y. Liu, M. Ashuri, C. Liu and L. Shaw, "Li2S encapsulated by nitrogen-doped carbon for lithium sulfur batteries," J. Mater. Chem. A, 2 (42), 18026-18032 (2014).

L. Chen and L. Shaw, "Recent advances in lithium-sulfur batteries," J. Power Sources, 267, 770-783 (2014). 

D. Lin, Q. Wang, K. Peng and L. Shaw, "Phase formation and properties of composite electrolyte BCY-GDC for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells," J. Power Sources, 205, 100-107 (2012).

X. Wan and L. Shaw, "Novel dehydrogenation properties derived from nanoscale LiBH4," Acta Mater., 59, 4606-4615 (2011).

L. Shaw, X. Wan, J.Z. Hu, J.H. Kwak and Z. Yang, "The solid-state hydriding mechanism in the LiBH4 + MgH2 system," J. Phys. Chem. C, 114, 8089-8098 (2010).

L. Shaw, J.-W. Tian, A.L. Ortiz, K. Dai, J.C. Villegas, P.K. Liaw, R. Ren and D.L. Klarstrom, "A direct comparison in the fatigue resistance enhanced by surface severe plastic deformation and shot peening in a C-2000 superalloy," Mater. Sci. Eng., 527 [4-5] 986-994 (2010).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite with simultaneous enhancements in hardness and toughness," Biomater., 30 [34] 6565-6572 (2009).

X. Wan, T. Markmaitree, W. Osborn and L. Shaw, "Nanoengineering-enabled solid-state hydrogen uptake and release in the LiBH4 plus MgH2 system," J. Phys. Chem. C, 112, 18232-18243 (2008).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Morphology-enhanced low temperature sintering of nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite," Adv. Mater., 19, 2364-2369 (2007).

J. Wang and L. Shaw, "Functionally graded materials via inkjet color printing," J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 89 [10] 3285-3289 (2006).

M. Wu and L. Shaw, "A novel concept of carbon-filled polymer blends for applications of PEM fuel cell bipolar plates," Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 30 [4] 373-380 (2005).

R.-M. Ren, Z.-G. Yang and L. Shaw, "Synthesis of nanostructured silicon carbide through integrated mechanical and thermal activation process," J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 85 [4] 819-827 (2002).

L. Shaw, D. Goberman, R.-M. Ren, M. Gell, S. Jiang, Y. Wang, T.D. Xiao and P. Strutt, "The dependency of microstructure and properties of nanostructured coatings on plasma spray conditions," Surf. Coat. Technol., 130, 1-8 (2000).