People/Web Search Calendar Emergency Info A-Z Index UVA Email University of Virginia

Skip to Content


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

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

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).