Jeffrey LaCombe

Associate Professor and Chair

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., Materials Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1998
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1992

Research interests


  • Diffusion in solids
  • Microstructural stability
  • Solidification and crystal growth processes
  • Materials processing
  • Metallurgy


  • Mobile vehicle data systems
  • Telescience
  • Remote data gathering
  • Autonomous aerial descent vehicles (parachutes, parafoils)
  • High altitude ballooning

Relevant past experience

  • Principal Investigator on NSF- and NASA-sponsored research grants on novel casting methods and the fundamental physics of pattern formation during dendritic solidification
  • DOE-sponsored research focuses on microstructural evolution and multicomponent diffusion in Ni-based superalloys, as well as nanotube array growth
  • Additional education-based research on student-built, autonomous robots and satellite systems, including interdisciplinary and multi-institution collaborations

Class Materials

  • ENGR 100 Introduction to Engineering Design
  • ENGR 701 Fundamentals of Research
  • MSE 102 Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering II (Co-taught with ME 151)
  • MSE 765 Diffusion in Materials
  • MSE 725 Solidification and Crystal Growth
  • CHE 374 Transport Phenomena II

Selected & Recent Publications

  • A Stable and Efficient Regression Approach for Determination of Coefficients in Linear Multicomponent Diffusion, Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion, 33(3), 181-188, (2012) [A.V. Jaques, and J.C. LaCombe].
  • Regularization Inverse Method for Variable Binary Diffusivity Measurements, Journal of Phase Equilibria and Diffusion, 33(3), 195-202, (2012) [A.V. Jaques, and J.C. LaCombe].
  • Autonomous Guidance of a Circular Parachute Using Descent Rate Control, Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics (AIAA), 35(4), 1367-1370, (2012) [T.D. Fields, J.C. LaCombe, and E.L. Wang].
  • Teaching Structured Programming Using Lego Programmable Blocks, Computers in Education Journal, 18 (2), 28-37, (2008) [J.C. LaCombe, A.M. Vollstedt, and E.L. Wang]
  • A new blue emitting phosphor, SrZnO2:Pb2+ synthesized by adipic acid templated sol-gel route, Journal of Luminescence, 128, 129-134, (2008) [A. Manavbasi, and J.C. LaCombe].
  • Assessment of Ternary Multicomponent Diffusion in Alloy 22 (Ni-Cr-Mo), Defect and Diffusion Forum, 266, 181-190 (2007) [A.V. Jaques, and J.C. LaCombe].
  • Tip Velocities and Radii of Curvature of Pivalic Acid Dendrites Under Convection-Free Condition, Metallurgical Transactions A, 38A, 116-126, (2007) [J. C. LaCombe, M. B. Koss, and M. E. Glicksman].
  • Synthesis of Pure Zn2SiO4:Mn Green Phosphors by Simple PVA-Metal Complex Route, Journal of Materials Science, 42, 252-258 (2007) [A. Manavbasi, and J.C. LaCombe].
  • Pressure-Mediated Effects on Thermal Dendrites, Journal of Crystal Growth, 279, 170-185 (2005) [M.B. Koss, J.C. LaCombe, A. Chait, V. Pines, M. Zlatkowski, M.E. Glicksman, P. Kar].