Carnegie Mellon University

MSE Seminar Series

Friday, October 29, 2021 @12:20pm

Professor Matthew A. Williard,
Case Western Reserve University

Challenges for Magnetic Materials in Vehicle Electrification

A fundamental transformation of the transportation sector in the United States is underway.  In parallel with advances in renewable energy resources for power generation, the rising use of electric and hybrid vehicles is reshaping the future of transportation, including advancements in automobiles, ships, and aircraft technologies.  Due to their prevalence, magnetic materials play an important role in improving the efficiency and performance of devices in electric power generation, conditioning, and conversion.  However, additional challenges exist for magnets used in transportation applications, where enhanced reliability, power density, and overall energy capacity are increasingly important.  This talk will focus on hard and soft magnetic materials, with an emphasis on their design and optimization for future power electronics and electric drives for vehicles.  Specifically, the impact of hard magnetic materials on electric motor/generator technologies and of soft magnetic materials on electricity generation/conversion technologies will be presented.  The structure-property relationships that allow these advanced materials to provide greater performance will be discussed in terms of and their potential impact on future power electronics and electric drives for vehicles. 


  • A. Willard, “Stronger, Lighter, and More Energy Efficient: Challenges of Magnetic Material Development for Vehicle Electrification” Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2012 Symposium, National Academies Press: Washington, DC (2013) pp. 57-63.
  • Gutfleisch, M. A. Willard, E. Brück, C. H. Chen, S. G. Sankar, and J. P. Liu, “Magnetic Materials and Devices for the 21st Century: Stronger, Lighter, and More Energy Efficient”, Advanced Materials 23 (2011) 821-824 ( (Invited)
  • P. Liu, M. Willard, W. Tang, E. Bruck, F. de Boer, E. Liu, J. Liu, C. Felser, G. Fecher, L. Wollmann, O. Isnard, E. Burzo, S. Liu, J. F. Herbst, F. Hu, Y. Liu, J. Sun, B. Shen, and A. de Visser, Handbook of Magnetism, Ed. M. Coey and S. Parkin, Chapter: ‘Metallic Magnetic Materials’, 2021 (Invited). (

Matthew A. Williard

Prof. Matthew A. Willard is a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department (MSE) at Case Western Reserve University where he leads research in the areas of magnetic materials, physical metallurgy, and alloy processing.  His research interests include materials design and the study of processing, structure, and performance of magnetic materials designed for energy efficiency and size/weight reduction.  Prof. Willard has a longstanding interest in solidification processing of alloys and has been the Faculty Director of the Case Metals Processing Laboratory for eight years.  NASA, DOE, ONR, DARPA, NSF, EERE, State of Ohio, Google, and ARPA-E have funded Prof. Willard’s work on magnetic materials and their integration into devices (over $12M career funding as PI/co-PI).  He is an active researcher having over 90 peer-reviewed publications in top national & international journals.  His work has been recognized by numerous teaching and research awards, including:  Technical Educator Award, Cleveland Technical Societies Council, 2019; Research Award, Case School of Engineering(CSE), CWRU, 2019; Undergraduate Teaching Award, CSE, CWRU, 2017; Brimacombe Medalist, TMS, 2015; Invited Speaker, 2012 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (sponsored by NAE); Kavli Fellow, 2012; Berman Research Publication Awards, NRL 2004 & 2009.  He has been an active member of the materials and physics communities having served as: Program Chair, Joint Magnetism & Magnetic Materials (MMM)/Intermag Conference, 2021; Publications Chair, MMM Conference, 2010; Publications Editor, MMM Conference, 2004-10 & 2014; Chairman, Magnetic Materials Committee, TMS 2008-12. Prof. Willard is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of TMS, APS, MRS, and AFS.