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Office Location: ETC 9.146

Desiderio Kovar


The BF Goodrich Endowed Professorship in Materials Engineering and Distinguished Teaching Professor

Department Research Areas:
Advanced Materials Science and Engineering

Kovar Research Group website

Dr. Kovar has been on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin since 1997, where he currently holds the BF Goodrich Professorship in Materials Engineering and is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the Materials Engineering area of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has supervised the independent research of 46 undergraduate and 41 MS and Ph.D. students at UT Austin. He is a member of the Texas Materials Institute and is affiliated with the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Center for Electromechanics.

Dr. Kovar has received many awards for his teaching and research including the Engineering Foundation Young Faculty Excellence Award from the Cockrell School of Engineering (2000), the Teaching Excellence Award from the Student Engineering Council (2000), the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Jack and Maxine Zarrow Family K-16 Teaching Innovation Award (2014), the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching (2016) and the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Teaching Award (2016). In 2019, he was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

In 2013, he founded the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Longhorn Maker Studio (now known as Texas Inventionworks), a makerspace equipped with a range of equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, and other equipment that allows students to take their projects from conceptualization to fabrication. He served as the inaugural Faculty Director for the Longhorn Maker Studio from its inception until March of 2016, when a full-time director was hired. From 2012-2016, he chaired the Mechanical Engineering Department’s curriculum committee, where he spearheaded a number of successful reforms that improved student learning and significantly increased student retention. This included a college-wide reorganization of the mathematics curriculum in Engineering. In 2018, he headed the effort to create the Materials Science and Engineering minor, the first minor in Engineering. From 2005-2018, he served as Graduate Advisor for the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program, which includes approximately 80 MS and Ph.D. students. In 2012, he was recognized as the University of Texas’ Outstanding Graduate Advisor. Since 2017, he has served as Area Coordinator for the Materials Engineering Area of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Kovar research interests lie at the interface between materials science and engineering and additive manufacturing. His current research projects involve additive manufacturing (3D printing) of patterned films and bulk parts. He is studying Micro-Cold Spray manufacturing which allows metallic, ceramic, and composite films to be directly written at room temperature onto almost any substrate material. He is also developing Selective Laser Flash Sintering, a new additive manufacturing process for producing bulk ceramics that he co-invented. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, the Army Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, the US Department of Energy as well as a number of corporate sponsors.

Recent Publications
  1. M.F. Becker and D. Kovar, “A Quantitative Criterion for Predicting Solid-State Disordering During High Strain Rate Deformation, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 33 (6) 065405, 2020. DOI: 10.1088/1361-648X/abc4ef
  2. J.J.H. McCallister, M.D. Gammage, J.W. Keto, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “Influence of Agglomerate Morphology on Micro-Cold Spray of Ag Nanopowders,” Journal of Aerosol Science, 151 105648, 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2020.105648.
  3. J.J. Beaman, D.B. Bourell, C.C. Seepersad, and D. Kovar “Additive Manufacturing: Early Past to Current Research, ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 142 (11) 110812 (20 pages), 2020. DOI: 10.1115/1.4048193.
  4. J.J. Beaman, D. Kovar, D.B. Bourell, D. Hagen, “Systems and Methods for Additive Manufacturing of Ceramics”, US Patent 10,611,694, April 7, 2020.
  5. C.C. Seepersad, J. Allison, A. Dressler, B. Boyce, D. Kovar , “An Experimental Approach for Enhancing the Predictability of Mechanical Properties of Additively Manufactured Architected Materials with Manufacturing-Induced Variability,” Chapter 17 in Uncertainty Quantification in Multiscale Materials Modeling (D. McDowell and Y. Wang, Eds.), Elsevier, March 1, 2020. ISBN: 9780081029411
  6. D. Hagen, J.J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, “Laser Flash Sintering of YSZ,” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 103 [2] 800-808 (2020) DOI: 10.1111/jace.16771.
  7. D. Hagen, A. Chen, J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, "Moisture Effects on Selective Laser Flash Sintering of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia," in Proceedings of the 30th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, pp 873-891, 2019. Link
  8. C. Knapp, T. Lienert, P. Burgardt, D. Kovar, “A Model to Predict Deposition Parameters for Directed Energy Deposition: Part I Theory and Modeling,” Rapid Prototyping Journal, 25 [6] 998-1006 (2019). DOI: 10.1108/RPJ-08-2018-0221.
  9. T.V. Chitrakar, G.J.J. Noiseau, J.W. Keto, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “An Experimental and Computational Study of High-Speed Impact of Ag Nanoparticles,” Journal of Applied Physics, 125, 195104, (2019). DOI: 10.1063/1.5063345.
  10. J.J.H. McCallister, J.W. Keto, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “Influence of Normal Velocity on Microstructure and Density of Films Produced by Nanoparticle Impact,” AIP Advances, 9 035226 (2019). DOI: 10.1063/1.5080949