Elizabeth Dickey’s research focuses on developing processing-structure-property relationships for material systems in which the macroscopic physical properties (mechanical, electrical, thermal, etc.) are governed by grain boundaries or internal interfaces. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the role of grain boundary chemistry on electrical and chemical transport. In addition, she is interested in understanding the role of microstructure and interfaces on the mechanical properties of eutectic ceramic composites, which are being developed for high-temperature and armor applications. Her research involves using an array of analytical techniques, in particular electron microscopy and spectroscopy, to understand the structure and chemistry of internal defects in materials.

Dickey received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. Before joining CMU, she spent a decade with the Materials Science and Engineering Department at North Carolina State University (NCSU) as a professor, and later as Associate Department Head. She has more than 200 publications in these areas with more than 20,000 citations. Her awards and honors include:

  • Fellow of AAAS
  • Fellow of the American Ceramic Society
  • Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America
  • World Academy of Ceramics Academician
  • NCSU Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professorship
  • Richard M. Fulrath Award, American Ceramic Society
  • Northwestern University Early Career Achievement Award for Alumni in MSE
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)


Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University

B.S. Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Revisiting steel

Advancing modern steel research allows us to access unique properties while lowering the carbon footprint, and it’s important for education.

Engineering faculty awarded professorships

Engineering faculty Peter Adams, Elizabeth Dickey, Carlee Joe-Wong, Pulkit Grover, Alan McGaughey, Rahul Panat, and Douglas Weber were awarded professorship titles in February and March 2021.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dickey named AAAS fellow

Incoming MSE Head Elizabeth Dickey has been named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.