Giving Opportunities

The MSE Program focuses on studying and creating new materials that range broadly among material classes. Using nanoscale, mechanical testing, detailed structural analysis, modeling, and simulation, MSE works closely with many disciplines across the university to engineer nanoscale materials and devices that perform better and are more reliable.

The four strategic research areas of MSE are Energy Production and Storage; Electronics and Photonics; Bioinspired Materials and Systems; and Green Technologies. Your generosity allows us to continue offering exceptional academic and research programs; please review our current list of priorities and consider making a gift.

Graduate Education

  • Ph.D. fellowships: our goal is to provide funding for every first-year Ph.D. student. Creation of an endowment would support 13 – 14 Ph.D. students per year.
  • Teaching Assistant awards: funds will be used for annual cash prizes recognizing the top two graduate TA’s each academic year.

Undergraduate Education

  • Modernize and upgrade equipment in the MSE instructional laboratories: funds will be used to purchase a variety of new equipment (examples include Keithley source meters, a deionized water filtration system, a high temperature furnace, a scanning electron microscope, a manual probe station, experimental stations for characterization of nanoscale devices and materials) which will dramatically increase the capability and functionality of our undergraduate lab courses.
  • Undergraduate lab experimentation support: funds will be used to cover annual expendables costs associated with conducting course experiments.
  • Travel funds: funds will support undergraduates to attend national conferences and other important career development events.
  • Junior class awards: funds will be used for annual cash prizes recognizing the top four to six members (academic achievement) of each junior class.


  • Endowed Director of MSE. Faculty directors set a vision for their respective schools, and are responsible for the recruitment, retention and cultivation of their faculty, staff, and students. These funds would equip MSE leadership with resources for attracting and nurturing outstanding scholars, retaining top faculty and seizing emergent opportunities to fund research. Naming this position would support Director Lara Estroff in her mission, vision, and efforts to bolster research and education in MSE.

  • Endow faculty positions in Energy Production and Storage, Electronics and Photonics, Bioinspired Materials and Systems, and Green Technologies.

  • Professor of Practice. Seasoned industry practitioners that can offer real world applications in their area of expertise to enhance our students’ educational experience and graduate with advanced soft skills.


  • MSE wants to create the most accessible, student-centric experiential learning experience possible for 21st century engineers who require modernized lab spaces with necessary equipment to conduct critical research. Thurston Hall will greatly enhance the learning and training experiences for our students and update the appearance of the Engineering Quad. This renovation will also create opportunities for synergy with the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering who will also be using the updated space. 
  • Support the renovation and expansion of Bard Hall. The project will modernize teaching and research laboratories as well as create more useful meeting spaces to accommodate growing class sizes. The renovation will increase its size to 2,500 square feet. Naming opportunities are available. 

Program Support

  • Name and endow two lecturer positions: funds will support a lecturer to teach an MSE design course each year plus a lecturer to teach the MSE senior lab course each year.
  • Undergraduate lab coordinator position: funds will be used towards salary for this essential role which supports all MSE undergraduate lab instruction; the coordinator prepares and maintains all course experimentation along with all hardware and machinery in the undergraduate instructional lab.
  • Innovation prize for postdocs/graduate students: funds will be used to award an annual “excellence in research” prize to a member of the MSE research community.
  • Undergraduate Research Fund
  • Named Endowed Research Fund. Provides support in perpetuity for undergraduate lab experimentation support. Funds will be used to cover costs (expendables and facility usage fees) associated with conducting junior and senior lab experiments. 
  • Unrestricted gifts to Directors Fund: funds will be used by the MSE Director to address areas of critical need.

For more information on these or any other giving opportunities, please contact Keith Hannon, MSE’s Alumni Affairs and Development Officer, at 310.721.6996 or

Rachael Skye

Thanks to the Travel Award, I was able to attend the Gordon Research Seminar and Conference in Crystal Growth and Assembly. Through this experience I strengthened connections with leaders in the field of crystal growth, and met other grad students from around the world. I was able to foster collaborations and discussions with people I would otherwise never have met.

— Rachael Skye, Ph.D. student in MSE