Liz Holm takes over as department chair

Effective January 1, MSE alum Liz Holm returned to U-M, this time in the role of professor and department chair.
Liz Holm takes over as department chair

MSE chair Liz Holm

Michigan Engineering welcomed Elizabeth Holm back to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering effective January 1—this time as a professor and department chair.

Holm earned a dual PhD (1992) in Materials Science and Engineering and Scientific Computing and a BSE (1987) in Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Engineering, as well as an SM in ceramics from MIT in 1989.

“U-M is my home place, and I’m energized by the opportunity to bring back what I’ve learned and contribute to the continuing evolution of MSE,” Holm said. “My highest priority is to support an inclusive community where every individual can excel.”

Today, her research focuses on the intersection of data science and materials science. Her lab works to identify useful concepts from data science including machine learning, machine vision, evolutionary computing and network analysis and develop them to answer materials science questions.

Holm uses these methods to study a variety of materials systems and phenomena. Her research areas include the theory and modeling of microstructural evolution in complex polycrystals, the physical and mechanical response of microstructures, mechanical properties of carbon nanotube networks, atomic-scale properties of internal interfaces, machine vision for automated microstructural classification and machine learning to predict rare events.

“By her combination of deep technical strength, outstanding leadership skills and strong commitment to DEI, Professor Holm will be able to guide our department through the always evolving field of materials science and engineering,” commented MSE Professor Alan Taub, who led the chair search committee. “We all look forward to welcoming her as our new department chair.”

Prior to joining U-M, Holmes spent ten years at Carnegie Mellon University, most recently as a professor of materials science and engineering. She also spent 20 years as a computational materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, working on computer simulations of microstructure evolution, microcircuit aging and reliability, and the processing and welding of advanced materials.

Active in a variety of professional societies, Holm is president elect designate and an honorary member of The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum; a fellow of ASM International; a fellow and former president of The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, where she launched the TMS Summit on Creating and Sustaining Diversity; an organizer of several international conferences; and a former member of the National Materials Advisory Board. She has authored or co-authored over 160 publications. 

Previous department chair Amit Misra, who has served in this capacity since June of 2014, is remaining in the department as a full-time tenured professor.