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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
Nano and Micro-scale Engineering

Kovar Research Group website

Dr. Kovar has been on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin since 1997. He currently holds the BFGoodrich Professorship in Materials Engineering and is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Kovar is a member of the Texas Materials Institute, is affiliated with the Center for Electromechanics, and is a core member of the Center for Additive Manufacturing and Design Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the Materials Engineering area of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kovar has supervised or co-supervised the independent research of 47 undergraduate students, 21 MS theses, and 17 Ph.D. dissertations and he is currently supervising or co-supervising 12 graduate students and one undergraduate student.

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, 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, and the facility was renamed Texas Inventionworks. 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 has an enrollment of approximately 80 MS and Ph.D. students. In 2012, he was recognized as the University of Texas’ Outstanding Graduate Advisor. He served as Area Coordinator for the Materials Engineering Area of Mechanical Engineering from 2017-2022 and currently is the Associate Chair for Academics for the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Dr. Kovar research interests lie at the interface between materials science and engineering and additive manufacturing. He has published approximately 95 journal articles, conference proceedings, patents, and reports. His current research projects involve additive manufacturing (3D printing) of patterned films and bulk ceramics 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. D.M. Sassaman, M.S. Ide, J.J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, “A Model for Bonding Mechanisms in Indirect Laser Powder Bed Fusion of Nylon/Alumina Blends” Additive Manufacturing, 59 103163 (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.addma.2022.103163
  2. T.V. Chitrakar, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “A Quantitative Criterion to Predict Atomic Disordering During High Velocity Nanoparticle Impact,” Journal of Aerosol Science, 165 106042 (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2022.106042
  3. D. Hagen, J.J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, “Effects of Inter-Particle Neck Development on the Initiation of Selective Laser Flash Sintering of 8-YSZ," Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 105 [10] 6023-6040 (2022). DOI: 10.1111/jace.18574
  4. D. Davies, A. Moyers, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “Deformation and Film Formation Mechanisms During High Velocity Impact of SiC Nanoparticles,” Journal of Aerosol Science, 163 105997 (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2022.105997
  5. A. Moyers, D. Davies, M.F. Becker, and D. Kovar, “Impact-induced Amorphization in Yttria Nanoparticles: A Molecular Dynamics Survey Study,” Journal of Aerosol Science, 162 105967 (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2022.105976
  6. D.M. Sassaman, M.S. Ide, D. Kovar, and J.J. Beaman, “Design of an In-situ Microscope for Selective Laser Sintering, Additive Manufacturing Letters, 2 100033 (2022). DOI:10.1016/j.addlet.2022.100033
  7. M.F. Becker and D. Kovar, "A Quantitative Criterion for Predicting Solid-State Disordering During Biaxial, High Strain Rate Deformation" Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 30 015006 (2022). DOI:10.1088/1361-651X/ac3cca
  8. D. Sassaman, M. Ide, J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, “Geometry Limitations in Indirect Selective Laser Sintering of Alumina,” Proceedings of the 32nd Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, pp 688-701, 2021. Link
  9. P.P. Radyjowski, D.L. Bourell, D. Kovar, and J.L. Ellzey, “Additive Manufacturing of Si-SiC for Combustion Device Applications,” Proceedings of the 32nd Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, pp 157-168, 2021. Link
  10. A. Gouws, D. Hagen, A. Chen, E. Kardoulaki, J.J. Beaman, and D. Kovar, “Onset of Selective Laser Flash Sintering of AlN, International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, 18 [6] 1988-1998 (2021). DOI: 10.1111/ijac.13840