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Washington State University Institute of Materials Research

The Institute

Professor Kelvin Lynn
February 2, 1948 – January 2, 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce our director and dear friend Dr. Kelvin Lynn unexpectedly passed away while skiing in Salt Lake City on Jan. 2, 2020.
Kelvin has been a beloved member of the Washington State University community for more than 20 years. Nationally renowned in the fields of materials science, physics, positron, and crystal growing research, Kelvin came to WSU from the Brookhaven National Lab in 1996.

A Regents professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Department of Physics, and Boeing Chair of Advanced Materials, Kelvin established WSU’s Center for Materials Research as a leader in the engineering of a variety of valuable crystals including cadmium telluride, or “CadTel,” used in solar energy and medical imaging industries. His scientific breakthroughs earned him election to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Washington State Academy of Science.
Read more about his life at and  In lieu of flowers, consider making a contribution to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument –

IMR Faculty, Students and Staff


The Institute of Materials Research (formerly, the Center for Materials Research) was established at WSU in 1993 to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration between various faculty members and to facilitate research and education in the area of materials science. It is under the joint administration of the College of Engineering and Architecture and the College of Arts and Sciences and has grown to include over 25 researchers from various disciplines.

The Institute offers the opportunity for researchers in diverse fields at WSU to connect with funding sources in government and industry to find interdisciplinary answers to advanced materials problems. The faculty members at the Center address these research questions with some of today’s most sophisticated scientific equipment.

Contact Us

Institute of Materials Research
PO Box 642711
Pullman, WA  99164-2711

IMR has received extramural funding from many agencies, some of which are:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Department of Energy and the National Lab System
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • IBM
  • The Boeing Company
  • Applied Materials
  • Cermet
  • II-VI, Inc.
  • VLOC, Inc.
  • eV Products
  • Honeywell, Inc.
  • W.M. Keck Foundation
  • Novellus Systems, Inc.

IMR News

Kelvin Lynn and researchers from the University of Utah have received a $1.88 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study the fundamental properties of a semiconductor material known as gallium oxide, which could be used in high-voltage power systems for anything from cars to airplanes and ships.

Kelvin Lynn, Regents Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has received a $200,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to advance solar research and development.