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Beth Opila

Elizabeth J. Opila

Associate Professor

Ph.D. Materials Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991
M.S. Materials Science; University of California, Berkeley, 1983
B.S. Honors Ceramic Engineering; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1981

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Virginia
PO Box 400745
395 McCormick Road
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4745
Office: Wilsdorf Hall Room 124
p: 434-243-7610
f: 434-982-5660

Website: Opila Research Group

Research Interests

Prof. Opila’s research focuses on materials durability in extreme environments for energy, power, and propulsion applications. Current research interests include oxidation and corrosion of ceramics and ceramic matrix composites, high temperature coating development, high temperature water vapor interactions with metals and ceramics, thermochemistry of gaseous metal hydroxides, and oxide defect chemistry.

Professonal Experience and Memberships

2010-current: Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia

2003-2010: Physicist, NASA Glenn Research Center, Materials & Structure Division, Durability & Protective Coatings Branch

1991-2003: Research Associate Resident, NASA Glenn Research Center

1983-1985: Packaging & Assembly Engineer, Monolithic Memories, Inc

Honors and Awards

2014 - Fellow of the American Ceramic Society

2013 - Fellow of the Electrochemical Society

2008 - Chair and organizer of the Gordon Research Conference on High Temperature Materials, Processes, and Diagnostics

2008 - NASA Silver Snoopy Award for Critical support to the agency as a ceramic materials expert, and major innovative contributions to the Space Shuttle Program

2001 - R&D 100 Award for Long Life, High Temperature Ceramic Environmental Barrier Coating (Silicon/Mullite/BSAS and Silicon/Mullite + BSAS/BSAS EBCs)

Selected Publications

K. Shugart, S. Liu, F. Craven, E. Opila, “Determination of Retained B2O3 Content in ZrB2-30 vol% SiC Oxide Scales,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 98 [1] 287-295 (2015).  DOI: 10.1111/jace.13236

K. Shugart, B. Patterson, D. Lichtman, S. Liu, E. Opila, “Mechanisms for Variability of ZrB2-30 vol% SiC Oxidation Kinetics,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 97 [7] 2279-85 (2014).  DOI: 10.1111/jace.12911

K. Shugart, W. Jennings, E. Opila, “Initial Stages of ZrB2-30 vol% SiC Oxidation at 1500°C," J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 97 [5] 1645-51 (2014).  DOI: 10.1111/jace.12843

E.J. Opila, N.S. Jacobson, “Oxidation and Corrosion of Ceramics,” pp. 3-93 in Ceramics Science and Technology, Vol. 4, eds. I-W. Chen, R. Reidel, Wiley-VCH, Germany, 2013.

P.C. Meschter, E.J. Opila, N.S. Jacobson, “Water Vapor Mediated Volatilization of High Temperature Materials,” Annual Review of Materials Research, 43, 559-88, (2013).

J.A. Nesbitt, E.J. Opila, M. V. Nathal, “In Situ Growth of a Yb2O3 Layer for Sublimation Suppression for Yb14MnSb11 Thermoelectric Material for Space Power Applications,” J. Electronic Mat. 41 [1] 1267-73 (2012).

E. J. Opila, J. Smith, S.R. Levine, J. Lorincz, M. Reigel, “Oxidation of TaSi2-Containing ZrB2-SiC Ultra-High Temperature Materials,” Open Aerospace Engineering Journal, 3, 41-51 (2010).

E.J. Opila, D.L. Myers, N.S. Jacobson, I.B. Nielsen, D.F. Johnson, J.K. Olminsky, M.D. Allendorf, “Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of the Thermochemistry of CrO2(OH)2(g),” J. Phys. Chem. A. 111, 1971-1980 (2007). 

E.J. Opila, R.C. Robinson, D.S. Fox, R.A. Wenglarz, M.K. Ferber, “Additive Effects on Si3N4 Oxidation/Volatilization in Water Vapor,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 86 [8] 1262-1271 (2003). 

E.J. Opila, “Oxidation and Volatilization of Silica Formers,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 86 [8] 1238-1248 (2003).

S.R. Levine, E.J. Opila, M.C. Halbig, J.D. Kiser, M. Singh, J.A. Salem, “Evaluation of Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics for Aeropropulsion Use,” J. Eur. Cer. Soc. 22, 2757-2767 (2002).

E.J. Opila, J.L. Smialek, R.C. Robinson, D.S. Fox, N.S. Jacobson, “SiC Recession due to SiO2 Scale Volatility under Combustion Conditions.  Part II:  Thermodynamics and Gaseous Diffusion Model,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 82 [7] 1826-34 (1999).

E.J. Opila, R.E. Hann, “Paralinear Oxidation of CVD SiC in Water Vapor,” J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 80 [1] 197-205 (1997).

L.U.J.T. Ogbuji, E.J. Opila, "A Comparison of the Oxidation Kinetics of SiC and Si3N4," J. Electrochem. Soc., 142 [3] 925-930 (1995).

E.J. Opila, H.L. Tuller, B.J. Wuensch, J. Maier, "Oxygen Tracer Diffusion in La2-xSrxCuO4-y Single Crystals," J. Am. Cer. Soc., 76 [6] 2363-9 (1993).