Kathy Flores' primary research interest is the mechanical behavior of high performance structural materials, with particular emphasis on understanding structure-processing-property relationships in bulk metallic glasses and their composites.
She leads research projects on topics ranging from investigations of the structural origins of deformation in metallic glasses to the development of efficient strategies for the design of new glasses with desirable properties. She is particularly interested in the development of new manufacturing techniques suited to the unique processing capabilities of these alloys, in an effort to accelerate their incorporation in mainstream and high performance applications.
Awards: National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipient
Professor Flores received her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 2000. After serving as a postdoc and the Director of the Sports Materials Laboratory at Stanford, she joined the Materials Science and Engineering faculty at the Ohio State University in 2002. In 2008, she became the Director of Education and Outreach for the Center for Emergent Materials, the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at OSU. In 2012, she moved to the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis, where she helped establish the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (IMSE) as its Associate Director. She became Director of the IMSE in 2016.
Prof. Flores's research focuses on structural materials, with particular emphasis on understanding structure-processing-property relationships in compositionally or structurally complex metallic alloys. Her current research projects include developing and applying high-throughput computational and experimental methods to alloy design and using micromechanical experimental methods to investigate the rheology of geological materials.