Ralph E. Napolitano

  • Professor
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Associate Chair, Director of Graduate Education

Main Office

3273 Gilman (main office)
Ames, IA 50011-3114
Phone: 515-294-9101
Fax: 515-294-5444

Other Office(s)

2220BN Hoover (mail address)
Ames, IA 50011-2300
Phone: 515-294-1214


  • Ph.D. Metallurgy, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996
  • M.S. Metallurgical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1994
  • B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida, 1989

Interest Areas

The primary mission of the NAPOLITANO GROUP for Alloy Solidification & Physical Metallurgy is to understand the dynamic processes of morphological evolution during solid-liquid phase transformations in metallic alloys and to use this fundamental knowledge to control of interfaces and structural hierarchy in solidification microstructures, discover new pathways to nonequilibrium materials with novel structures and unusual properties, predict microstructural features and defects in metal castings, create new solidification processes and alloys, reveal new applications for solidification processing, and facilitate new predictive tools, techniques, and simulation-based guidelines for casting design.

Selected Publications

  1. Wang T. and Napolitano R. E., “A phase-field model for phase transformations in glassforming alloys”, Metall. Mater. Trans. A 43A (2012) 2662-2668. DOI 10.1007/s11661- 012-1136-2.
  2. R. E. Napolitano and Melis Serefoglu, “Control and interpretation of finite-size effects and initial morphology in directional solidification of a rod-type eutectic transparent metal-analog,” Journal of Metals 64 (2012) 68-75. DOI: 10.1007/s11837-011-0214-z.
  3. I. Kalay, M. J. Kramer, R. E. Napolitano, "High-accuracy X-ray diffraction analysis of phase evolution sequence during devitrification of Cu50Zr50 metallic glass", Met. Mat. Trans. 42A (2011) 1144-1153. [doi: 10.1007/s11661-010-0531-9]
  4. Melis Serefoglu, R.E. Napolitano, Mathis Plapp, “Phase-field investigation of rod eutectic morphologies under geometrical confinement," Physical Review E 84(1) (2011) 011614. URL:, [doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.84.011614]
  5. Melis Serefoglu and R.E. Napolitano, “On the role of initial conditions in the selection of eutectic onset mechanisms in directional growth,” Acta Materialia 59 (2011) 1048- 1057. [doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2010.10.035]
  6. S.G. Hao, C.Z. Wang, M.Z. Li, R.E. Napolitano, “Dynamic Arrest and Glass Formation Induced by Self-Aggregation of Icosahedral Clusters in Zr1-xCux Alloys,” Physical Review B 84 (2011) 064203.
  7. Fang, X. W.; Wang, C.Z.; Hao, S. G.; Kramer, M. J.; Yao, Y. X.; Mendelev, M. I.; Ding, Z. J.; Napolitano, R. E.; Ho, K. M.; Spatially Resolved Distribution Function and the Medium-Range Order in Metallic Liquid and Glass, Scientific Reports 1 (2011) 194. [DOI: 10.1038/srep00194].
  8. M.J. Kramer, M.I. Mendelev and R.E. Napolitano, “In Situ Observation of Antisite Defect Formation During Crystal Growth,” Physical Review Letters, 105 (2010) 245501 (2010).
  9. T. Hosch and R.E. Napolitano, “The effect of the flake-fiber transition in silicon morphology on the tensile properties of Al-Si eutectic alloys,” Mater. Sci. Eng. A 528 (2010) 226-232. [doi:10.10.1016/j.msea.2010.09.008]
  10. S.G. Haoa, , , C.Z. Wanga, Maozhi Lib, a, R.E. Napolitanoa, M.I. Mendeleva and K.M. Ho, “Prediction of cooling rate dependent ordering in metallic glass transition using a twostate model,” Computational Materials Science 49 (2010) 615-618. [doi:10.1016/j.commatsci.2010.06.002]