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Michael Dickey

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor & University Faculty Scholar

Engineering Building I (EB1) 2088G


The Dickey group is studying new ways to pattern, actuate, and control soft materials (gels, polymers, liquid metals). A common theme of our projects is the importance of thin films, interfacial phenomena, and microfabrication. Our approach is to (i) elucidate the fundamental properties of materials such that they can be harnessed in a useful manner, and (ii) develop new, unconventional approaches to fabricate, actuate, and assemble these materials. Applications of the research include patterning, 3D printing, stretchable / soft electronics, self-folding, actuation of soft robotics, wearable electronics, energy harvesting devices, reconfigurable circuits, and microfluidics..

We are also interested in photo-curable polymeric materials, particularly those used in both photo- and imprint lithography. The properties (curing speed, sensitivity, elemental composition, dielectric constant, mechanical properties, viscosity, etc.) of these materials must be tailored and optimized depending on the application.

Focus Areas – Soft Materials, Interfaces, Microfabrication, Liquid Metals, Polymers / Gels, Stretchable & Wearable Electronics, Energy Harvesting, Soft Robots.

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BS, Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (1999)
MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (2003)
PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (2006)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemistry, Harvard University (2006-2008)

Honors and Awards

  • 2023 Fellow, Academy of Outstanding Faculty in Extension and Engagement Award
  • 2023 Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor Award
  • 2021 R.J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research & Extension
  • 2020 Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award
  • 2020 Outstanding Research Mentor Award
  • 2020 American Chemical Society Distinguished Speaker of the Year, NC Chapter
  • 2019 Distinguished Leadership and Contributions to Scientific Research Award, Sigma Xi
  • 2017 Member: Defense Science Study Group (DSSG 2018-2019)
  • 2017 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor (NC State)
  • 2017 Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award
  • 2016 Curtis W. McGraw Research Award
  • 2016 SPIE Nanoengineering Award
  • 2014 Selectee: NAE Frontiers of Engineering Research Symposium
  • 2013 ASEE Southeastern Section New Faculty Research Award
  • 2013 Selectee: NAE Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium
  • 2013 University Faculty Scholar
  • 2012 Outstanding Teacher Award – Member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State University
  • 2011 Sigma Xi Faculty Award
  • 2010 NSF CAREER Award