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Lehigh University logo

Martin P. Harmer

Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Position: Alcoa Foundation Professor
Senior Faculty Adviser for Engineering Research Initiatives

Address: Whitaker Lab 460
5 E. Packer Ave.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-4227

E-mail: mph2@lehigh.edu

Online: Curriculum Vitae

Research: Google Scholar

Areas of Research

  • Sintering and Grain Growth
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Ceramics
  • Glasses
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanomaterials and Nanocomposites
  • Energy Science
  • Life Science
  • National Defense
  • Structural and Chemical Characterization
  • Synthesis and Processing
  • Grain Boundaries and Complexions


Dr. Harmer pursues research in the science of ceramic powder processing, particularly sintering, and the understanding and control of the relationships between the microstructure and properties of advanced structural and electronic ceramic materials. Recent projects include sintering of nanoparticles on metals (gold) and ceramics. His research group is involved with the kinetic engineering of interfaces (grain boundaries and surfaces) in ceramic and metal systems in order to tailor their atomic transport rates, microstructure, and properties. It focuses on the discovery that internal interfaces have complex three-dimensional structures called "complexions."

Dr. Harmer is director of the Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN), and is affiliated with Lehigh's Center for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Center for Optical Technologies, and Diamond Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship. He was previously director of Lehigh's Materials Research Center and the Ceramics Research Laboratory.

Dr. Harmer has 250 publications, is included in Thomson ISI's list of most highly-cited researchers, and serves as editor of Acta Materialia. He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACS), and has won numerous national and international awards, including the ACS' Kingery Lifetime Achievement Award as well as its highest honor for basic science achievement, the Robert B. Sosman Award. He has won teaching and research awards at Lehigh, and is a member of the World Academy of Ceramics, European Academy of Sciences, and International Institute for the Science of Sintering and is a fellow of the ACS.


  • D.Sc., Ceramics, Leeds University, England
  • Ph.D., Ceramic Science, Leeds University
  • B.S., Ceramic Science, Leeds University