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VU Research Spotlight: Kamran Makarian, PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering

  • Posted by: Regina Duffy
  • Posted Date: July 9, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

With its robust range of resources, Falvey Memorial Library strives to support scholarly research at Villanova University at all levels and across all disciplines. The University is known for its excellence in both student and faculty research. In fact, Villanova was recently ranked among the Top 50 National Universities by U.S. News and World Report and, in addition, The Carnegie Foundation raised Villanova’s  Classification to the Doctoral Universities category from the Master’s Colleges and Universities category in 2016 due to the higher number of PhDs being awarded by the University. Both the ranking and category change highlight the intellectual growth of Villanova and re-emphasize the growing need for a solid academic library with resources available to help the diverse community of learners meet their research goals.

In response, Falvey continues to strengthen its resources, services and facilities to accommodate Villanova scholars. At the library you can find print and electronic books (list of new resources here); gain access countless scholarly databases both on and offsite (here’s a list from A-Z); participate in librarian research support sessions (one-on-one and class-based); use Interlibrary Loan to get articles/books from libraries around the world; find quiet space for focused study (like the beautiful Dugan Polk Family Reading Room); and even get coffee (!) to fuel you in your research endeavors. For a full list of library services, visit our Services webpage.

In celebration of scholarly research, Falvey would like to recognize Kamran Makarian, PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, on his work in the field and his recent publication: “Thermal shock resistance of refractory composites with Zirconia and Silicon-Carbide inclusions and alumina binder” in Ceramics International. Free access to the paper is available until July 18, 2018, according to the publisher. Check it out by following this link: After July 18, you can visit this alternative link to view:, (However, please note that viewing it may no longer be free after July 18.)

“With the goal of designing a castable refractory for an aerospace application with optimum resistance to thermal shock, three different particle-reinforced ceramic composites are designed and compared. Different volume fractions of Silicon Carbide (SiC) particles, Zirconia (ZrO2) bubbles, and Zirconia solid particles dispersed in an alumina (Al2O3) matrix are used in the fabrication of these castables. Destructive and nondestructive testing procedures are implemented to evaluate their thermomechanical properties, both before and after a custom designed thermal shock cycle. After demonstrating the applicability of thermal shock indices, the variation of these indices due to thermal shock is measured experimentally and utilized as a design tool. Multiple micro-scale damage mechanisms were observed, all of which are various forms of structural deformation.”

The research was conducted in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University, by Kamran Makarian, a PhD candidate, and was supervised by Sridhar Santhanam, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering. It was supported in part by a grant from NASA and was accomplished in collaboration with an industrial partner, Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing, Tucson, AZ.

Kamran Makarian, Sridhar Santhanam,

Kamran also credits Falvey for helping him reach his academic goals. He says, “The services that I have received from Falvey Memorial Library undoubtedly have been indispensable to the creation and promotion of this research project. This original paper reviews and cites 63 scientific publications from the year of 1951 to 2016, on various domains pertaining to the thermal shock response of ceramics, including theoretical analysis, experimental testing, microscopy, porosity, etc. Collecting such a large number of references from a wide range of topics has been made convenient through a solid support from our library. Particularly, the interlibrary loan service (ILLIAD) at Falvey Memorial library is an extremely potent and prompt service for collecting resources, which I personally rely on significantly.”

Kamran says, “Since fall 2017, through multiple meetings with Dr. Janice Bially Mattern, I succeeded to dramatically improve my professional utilization of the social media. Furthermore, on April 6, 2018, Janice Bially Mattern and Alfred Fry delivered a fascinating lecture on the topic of “online visibility” at the college of engineering. Thanks to this practical talk, I learned multiple new techniques for improving the impact of my research, and ways to avoid common pitfalls. This has been the most effective training that I have received at Villanova University on the generic research-related topics, and I hope that this line of collaboration between library and college of engineering will continue in the future.”

kamran makarian

While it is evident that a lot of effort has gone into this project, Kamran believes that there is still work to be done. He says that he “has focused his PhD research on modeling and analysis of micromechanics and thermal shock response of high-temperature ceramic composites. Although the present research publication mainly benefited from experimental and analytical approaches, the future steps in this research will involve developing novel and advanced Finite Element techniques for analyzing thermal shock response of ceramics. On another note, this research group has previously explored novel analytical techniques for micromechanical homogenization of ceramics with complex microstructures ( In the near future, the results of more advanced Finite Element based micromechanical studies in this line of research will be published.”

kamran makarian's paper, PhD candidate

Falvey Memorial Library is proud to recognize Kamran Makarian and looks forward to see where further exploration will take him on this project. Please check out his paper! Links and details are reiterated below.



Kamran Makarian, Sridhar Santhanam, Zachary N. Wing, “Thermal shock resistance of refractory composites with Zirconia and Silicon-Carbide inclusions and alumina binder,” Ceramics International, Volume 44, Issue 11, 2018, Pages 12055-12064, ISSN 0272-8842, DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.03.217

Video summary of Kamran’s work via YouTube:

The following is the link for free access that will be available until July 18:

The following is the general access link:








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Last Modified: July 9, 2018

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