Ulrike G.K. Wegst
Associate Professor of Engineering
Associate Professor of Engineering1-603-646-3148
Ulrike Wegst studied physics at the University of Göttingen in Germany and received her Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 1997 for analysis of the mechanical performance of natural materials. She worked on the CES Eco-Selector software before moving to the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble in France in 2000 and to the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany in 2001. She has been a Faculty Guest Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Anne Stevens Assistant Professor at Drexel University. Dr. Wegst joined the faculty at Dartmouth in January 2012.
- Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Cambridge 1997
Mechanical performance of natural materials; biomaterials and tissue engineering; self-assembly; biotemplated materials; biomimetics; novel materials for nuclear fuel applications; multifunctional hybrid materials; materials selection and eco-design; eco-audits; materials in musical instruments and sports equipment; science education through interdisciplinary projects linking music, arts and sport
Current Research Projects
- Biomaterials by Freeze Casting
- Freeze-Casting as a Novel Manufacturing Process for Fast Reactor Fuels
- Properties of Microscale Constituents & Interfaces in Hierarchically Structured Composite Materials
- Structure-Property-Processing Correlations in Ice-Templated Materials
- Francis, N.L., Hunger, P.M., Donius, A.E., Riblett, B.W., Zavaliangos, A., Wegst, U.G.K. and Wheatley, M.A. (2013) Ice-templated, linearly aligned chitosan-alginate scaffold for neural tissue engineering. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 2013:00A:000–000.
- Snyder, J., Hunger, P.M., Wang, C.Y., Wegst, U.G.K. and Sun, W. (2013) Controlled porosity of ceramic scaffolds by directional freeze casting and scaffold printing, ASME Proceedings of the ASME/ISCIE International Symposium on Flexible Automation, ISFA 2012, 59-65.
- Hunger, P.M., Donius, A.E. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2013) Platelets Self-assemble into Porous Nacre during Freeze Casting, J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, 19, 87-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.10.013.
- Hunger, P.M., Donius, A.E. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2013) Structure–property-processing correlations in freeze-cast composite scaffolds, Acta Biomat., http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2013.01.012.
- Saiz, E., Zimmermann, E.A., Lee, J.S., Wegst and U.G., Tomsia, A.P. (2013) Perspectives on the role of nanotechnology in bone tissue engineering, Dental Materials, 29(1), 103-115. doi: 10.1016/j.dental.2012.08.001.
- Riblett, B.W., Francis, N.L., Wheatley, M.A. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2012) Ice-Templated Scaffolds with Microridged Pores Direct DRG Neurite Growth, Advanced Functional Materials, 22(23), 4920–4923. doi: 10.1002/adfm.201290142.
- Tomsia, AP., Lee, J.S., Wegst, U.G.K. and Saiz, E. (2012) Nanotechnology for Dental Implants, Oral & Craniofacial Tissue Engineering, 2(1), 23-34.
- Wegst, U.G.K., Schecter, M., Oroho, A.E., and Hunger P.M. (2010) Biomaterials by Freeze-casting, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: "Advanced Processing of Biomaterials," 368(1917), 2099-2121.
- Meghri, N.W., Donius, A.E., Riblett, B.W., Martin, E.J., Clyne, A.M. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2010) Directionally Solidified Biopolymer Tissue Scaffolds: Mechanical Properties and Endothelial Cell Response, JOM, 62(7), 71-75.
- Saiz, E., Tomsia A.P., Lee J.S., Mankani M.H., Marshall S.J., Marshall G.W., Wegst, U.G.K. (2008) Novel nanocomposites for bone regeneration, Advanced Materials & Processes, 166(7), 66-67.
- Donius, A.E., Austero, M.S., Schauer, C.L. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2013) New crosslinkers for electrospun chitosan fibre mats. Part II. Mechanical properties, J. R. Soc. Interface, 9(75):2551-2562. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0946.
- Schiffman, J.D., Kiechel, M.A., Donius, A.E., Wegst, U.G.K. and Schauer, C.L. (2013) Crosslinking poly(allylamine) fibers electrospun from basic and acidic solutions, Journal of Materials Science, 48(22), 7856-7862.
- Austero, M.S., Donius, A.E., Wegst, U.G.K. and Schauer, C.L. (2012) New crosslinkers for electrospun chitosan fibre mats. I. Chemical analysis, J. R. Soc. Interface, 9(75):2551-62. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2012.0241.
- Frohbergh, M.E., Katsman, A., Botta, G.P., Lazarovicia, P., Schauer, C.L, Wegst, U.G.K. and Lelkes, P.I. (2012) Electrospunhydroxyapatite-containing chitosan nanofibers crosslinked with genipin for bone tissue engineering, Biomaterials, 33(36), 9167–9178.
Materials Characterization and Properties
- Srot, V., Wegst, U.G.K., Salzberger, U., Koch, C.T., Hahn, K., Kopold, P. and van Aken, P.A. (2013) Microstructure, chemistry, and electronic structure of natural hybrid composites in abalone shell. Micron. (Published online 13 March 2013)
- Wegst, U.G.K. (2011) Bending Efficiency through Property Gradients in Bamboo, Palm and Wood-based Composites, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 4(5), 744-55.
- Srot, V., Wegst, U.G.K., Salzberger, U., Koch, C.T. and van Aken, P.A. (2010) ELNES Investigations of Interfaces in Abalone Shell, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 16, 1218-1219.
- Huber, G., Orso, S., Spolenak, R., Wegst, U.G.K., Enders, S., Gorb, S.N. and E. Arzt (2008) Mechanical properties of a single gecko seta, International Journal of Materials Research, 10, 1113-1118.
- Juodkazis, S., Mizeikis V., Seet, K.K., Misawa H., and Wegst, U.G.K. (2007) Mechanical properties and tuning of three-dimensional polymeric photonic crystals, Applied Physics Letters, 91, 241904.
- Betz, O., Wegst, U.G.K., Weide, D., Heethoff, M., Helfen, L., Lee, W.-K. and Cloetens, P. (2007) Imaging applications of Synchrotron x-ray micro-tomography in biological morphology and biomaterial science. I. General aspects of the technique and its advantages in the analysis of arthropod structures, Journal of Microscopy, 227 Pt1, 51-71.
- Wegst, U.G.K. and Ashby, M.F. (2007) The structural efficiency of orthotropic stalks, stems and tubes, Journal of Materials Science, 42 (11), 9005-9014.
- Orso, S., Wegst, U.G.K., Eberl, C. and Arzt. E. (2006) Micrometer-scale tensile testing of biological attachment devices, Advanced Materials, 18 (7), 874-877.
- Vincent, J.F.V. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2004) Design and mechanical properties of insect cuticle, Arthropod Structure R & Development, 33 (3), 187-199.
- Wegst, U.G.K. and Ashby, M.F. (2004) The mechanical efficiency of natural materials, Philosophical Magazine, 84 (21), 2167- 2181.
- Ashby, M.F., Miller A., Rutter F., Seymour, C., and Wegst, U.G.K (2009) The CES Eco Selector
- Wegst, U.G.K. and Ashby, M.F. (2002) Materials selection and design of products with low environmental impact, Advanced Engineering Materials, 4 (6), 378-383.
Materials for Musical Instruments
- Wegst, U.G.K., (2008) Bamboo and Wood in Musical Instruments, Annual Review in Materials Research, 38, (doi:10.1146/annurev.matsci.38.060407.132459).
- Wegst, U.G.K., Oberhoff, S., Weller, M. and M.F. Ashby (2007) Materials selection criteria for violin bows, International Journal of Materials Research 12, 1230-1237.
- Wegst, U.G.K. (2006) Wood for sound, American Journal of Botany, 93 (10), 1439-1448.
- Weller, M. and Wegst, U.G.K. (2009) Fe–C Snoek peak in iron and stony meteorites: Metallurgical and cosmological aspects, Materials Science and Engineering: A, 521-522, 39-42.
- 2007 Werner-Köster-Award, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde
- 2009 ΑΣΜ, International Professional Honor Society for Materials Science and Engineering
- Reviewer for various government agencies and journals
- Scientific Conference Committee Member, 4th International Conference on Mechanics of Biomaterials & Tissues 2011, 5th International Conference on Mechanics of Biomaterials & Tissues 2013, ASME 2014 Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology NEMB 2014
- Organizing Committee Member: BMMP-2012, Nagoya, BMMP-13, BMMP-14 Takayama, Japan
- Symposium Co-organizer of MRS Fall Meeting Symposium 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and MRS Spring Meeting 2012
- Editor of the proceedings of MRS Symposia 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012
Students Awarded Dartmouth Engineering Fellowships
July 11, 2014
Biomimicry - the next engineering revolution?
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
February 10, 2014
Tech Fair Thrills at Dartmouth
April 6, 2013
The Dark Side of Music: Clarinets, Woodwinds and the Mpingo Tree
The Buffalo Story Project
December 9, 2012
Sports Engineering: Material World
New Scientist: Instant Expert 24
July 7, 2012
Meet Dartmouth’s New Faculty
March 19, 2012
Thayer School’s ash tree is gone but not forgotten
March 8, 2012
Material witness: Virtuosi’s choice
January 1, 2007
In Dartmouth Engineer Magazine
WISP Leading Women Into Engineering
Web Extra, October 2013
Faculty: Two New Professors Join Thayer
Two Ph.D. and two postdoctoral positions are available in Professor Wegst's lab starting January 2012:
Complex Nanocomposites for Bone Regeneration (1 Ph.D., 1 Postdoc): Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of a Bioengineering Research Partnership (BRP) led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—with component groups at UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and Imperial College, London—this project focuses on the design, manufacture and in vitro testing of novel bone substitute materials for low and medium load-bearing applications. Freeze-casting ("ice-templating") is used to generate complex, hybrid materials as novel tissue scaffolds. The focus is on structure-property-processing linkages and their correlation to biocompatibility and bioactivity.
Freeze-casting as a Novel Manufacturing Process for Fast Reactor Fuels (1 Ph.D., 1 Postdoc): Funded by the Department of Energy, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, this research is focused on technologies to enable the safe and cost-effective management of used fuel produced by the nuclear fuel cycle in a manner that reduces proliferation risk. Objectives are to develop novel materials and technologies resulting in improved methods of used fuel storage along with better recycling and disposal options, while significantly reducing the cost and environmental consequences of conventional technology.
In both cases the research will involve the manufacture of highly porous materials from polymers, ceramics, and metals by freeze casting ("ice-templating"), and, in some cases, their sintering. It will also involve their structural, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and biological characterization using techniques ranging from:
- light microscopy to synchrotron-based X-ray tomography
- quasi-static to in situ mechanical testing (in a scanning electron microscope or the tomography beamline of a synchrotron) in compression, bending and tension
- specific heat to thermal conductivity measurements
- cell culture to in vivo testing (in the case of the biomaterials)
A BS/MS (Ph.D.) and a Ph.D. (Postdoc) in materials science, mechanical or biomedical engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, or a related field is required. Although familiarity with materials synthesis and characterization is preferred, consideration will also be given to capable and enthusiastic applicants with other backgrounds.
Applicants should be highly motivated, willing to follow their curiosity and take initiative, and able to work well both independently and in a team. A strong background in mechanical, materials, or biomedical engineering, as well as competence in chemistry, physics (particularly for the nuclear fuel project) or biology (only for the biomaterial project) is required, with competence in the other areas. For the biomaterials research, experience in mammalian cell culture is helpful. For both topics, some experience in mechanical testing, measurement of physical material properties and microscopy methods and/or other surface analytical tools will be of great benefit.
The lab uses excellent material processing, testing and characterization equipment, including an ice lab, and new facilities are continuously developed. A diverse range of broadly applicable skills will be developed. The group has access to state-of-the-art characterization facilities both in house and at National Laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne) and also collaborates with international partners.
The Ph.D. and Postdoctoral appointments are for one year with possible extension. Applicants should submit a letter of application explicitly addressing the qualifications and motivations for the position as well as date of availability, detailed CV in PDF format, and the names, email, and addresses of three professional references. Review of applicants will begin immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. Applicants will be rated according to fulfillment of qualifications, previous experience and academic excellence.
Send inquiries and applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ulrike G.K. Wegst's research interests include biological materials in nature as well as their applications for musical instruments and sports equipment, biomaterials, biomimetics (the systematic transfer of biological principles of function and efficiency to technology), materials for energy generation, and materials synthesis and selection. Fundamental to all is the understanding of structure-property-processing correlations. In particular, she and her group design and manufacture by freeze-casting ("ice-templating") novel hybrid materials with unusual combinations of structural, mechanical, optical, thermal, and electrical properties.
Dr. Wegst needs undergraduates who would enjoy working with her and her group on ideas and research that combine mechanics, materials science, biology, chemistry, and physics to formulate new and unexpected design paradigms for superior materials.
If you would like to:
- observe water freeze and shape materials to make tissue scaffolds for spinal cord and bone repair using ice-cream technology
- analyze and visualize the microscopic and three-dimensional inside view of biological material
- measure the mechanical properties of newly developed materials...
then please contact Dr. Wegst at email@example.com.
Seminar: Ice-templated Hybrid Materials