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James Saal

Research Interests

Investigating and designing materials systems by prediction and modeling of their thermodynamic behavior with DFT, CALPHAD, and high-throughput DFT database development with the OQMD. Of particular interest are metal alloy and ceramic oxide systems.

Current Research


James was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1983 and grew up in Fort Lauderdale for most of his life. He went to school at Rice University in Houston and then Penn State University in State College. He now calls Chicago home!

  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering - Penn State University 2010
  • M.S. Materials Science and Engineering - Penn State University 2008
  • B.S. Materials Science and Engineering - Rice University 2005

Previous projects include:

  • Modeling defects in the mixed conducting La1–xSrxCoO3−δ perovskite
  • Predicting phase stabilities during high-temperature Nd:YAG sintering with silica
  • Developing models for Co magnetic thermodynamics
  • Thermodynamics of Ba1−xSrxTiO3−δ 
  • Structural prediction of complex boron carbides
  • Properties of C-doped MgB2 high-temperature superconductors
  • Experimental analysis of mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotube/polymer composites


A list of my publications can be found on my Google Scholar profile.