The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has named Sean G. Corcoran as interim department head, effective August 9, 2021, replacing David Clark, who is retiring after serving as department head for twenty years.

An international search for the new department head will commence in fall 2021. In the interim, Corcoran will be responsible for the administrative oversight of the department while guiding the department to advance its mission.

Corcoran joined Virginia Tech in the fall of 1998 and has served as associate department head for materials science and engineering since 2015. He has served Virginia Tech for several years as chair of the College of Engineering curriculum committee, chair of the university undergraduate curriculum committee (UCC), and he is currently the chair of the commission on undergradaute studies and policies (CUSP). In addition, he has been the director of the department’s undergraduate program for many years. 

Corcoran received a doctorate in materials science and engineering in the field of electrochemistry and corrosion at the Johns Hopkins University.  He conducted post-doctoral work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, focusing his research efforts on nanoscale mechanical testing.  He also served as director of the Nanomechanics Research Laboratory at Hysitron in Minneapolis. 

Corcoran’s current research interests include corrosion of alloys, nanoporous metals, and electrochemical processing of materials. 

Corcoran lives with his wife and four sons on a small farm where they raise sheep and chickens.