Scott P Beckman

  • Affiliate Associate Professor
  • Materials Science and Engineering


  • Ph.D. Material Science and Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 2005
  • M.S. Material Science and Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 2003
  • B.S. Ceramic Engineering, Iowa State University,  1999

Interest Areas

There is an increasing demand for the world's material resources, which in many cases are limited. The problem of adequately distributing these limited resources is highly complex and global in nature. One aspect of the solution is to use these resources in a more efficient and intelligent fashion. This can be achieved by designing systems that are self-monitoring, which use imbedded sensor technologies for optimization. There is a continued effort focused on the development of new materials for sensor technologies and the energy scavenging technologies that can be used to power these devices. In particular nanotechnology may offer an approach for developing low-energy high-efficiency sensing technologies for in situ application.  My research is focused on understanding the relationship between the atomic and nanoscale structure, the electronic structure, and the material properties. The ultimate goal of our work is to allow for the tailoring of the functional properties of a crystal to suit the desired engineering needs.

  • Materials theory, atomic scale computational modeling
  • Defects and interfaces in materials
  • Materials by design: tailoring macroscopic properties by the control of atomic-, nano-, and micro- structures
  • Transport at the nanoscale: eletrical, thermal, and mass

Brief Biography

Prof. Beckman received is B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Iowa State University in 1999. At ISU he minored in Mathematics and was actively involved in research, both at Ames Lab and at the Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation. He attended graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley. Under the supervision of Prof. Daryl Chrzan he applied theoretical methods to study defects in semiconducting crystals. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 with minors in Quantum Mechanics and Semiconducting Materials. After graduation he accepted a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Texas at Austin. Working with Prof. James Chelikowsky he studied defects in nanostructures and participated in the development of the real-space DFT method PARSEC. He left Texas to work with Prof. David Vanderbilt at Rutgers University, where he studied ferroelectric oxide materials. Prof. Beckman joined the ISU department of material science as an Assistant Professor in November 2008. Beckman was appointed Visiting Associate Professor in the Institute for Material Research at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, during the summer of 2010.


Selected Publications

  • Wan, L. F. & Beckman, S. P. Lattice instability in the AlMgB14 structure. Phys. B Condens. Matter 438, 9–12 (2014).
  • Huffman, P. J. and Beckman, S. P. The influence of phase boundaries on multiphase superhard materials demonstrating positive deviation from the rule of mixtures. Mater. Sci. Eng. A 595, 266–268 (2014).
  • Wan, L. F. and Beckman, S. P. Substitutional C on B sites in AlLiB14. J. Phys. Condens. Matter 25, (2013).
  • Nishimatsu, T., Barr, J. A. and Beckman, S. P. Direct Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Electrocaloric Effect in BaTiO3. J. Phys. Soc. JAPAN 82, 1–4 (2013).
  • Huffman, P. J. and Beckman, S. P. A non-linear damage accumulation fatigue model for predicting strain life at variable amplitude loadings based on constant amplitude fatigue data. Int. J. Fatigue 48, 165–169 (2013).
  • Bischoff, C., Schuller, K., Beckman, S. P. and Martin, S. W. Non-Arrhenius Ionic Conductivities in Glasses due to a Distribution of Activation Energies. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, (2012).
  • Beckman, S. P., Wan, L. F., Barr, J. A. and Nishimatsu, T. Effective Hamiltonian methods for predicting the electrocaloric behavior of BaTiO3. Mater. Lett. 89, 254–257 (2012).
  • Wan, L. F. and Beckman, S. P. Chemical doping the XYB14 complex borides. Mater. Lett. 74, 5–7 (2012).
  • Wan, L. and Beckman, S. Fracture Strength of AlLiB14. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 145501 (2012).
  • Ma, C., Guo, H. Z., Beckman, S. P. and Tan, X. L. Morphotropic phase boundary for piezoelectricity: Make it or break it. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, (2012).
  • Bayus, K., Paz, O. & Beckman, S. P. Structure, energy, and electronic states of vacancies in Ge nanocrystals. Phys. Rev. B 82, 155409 (2010).
  • Beckman, S. P., Wang, X. J., Rabe, K. M. and Vanderbilt, D. Ideal barriers to polarization reversal and domain-wall motion in strained ferroelectric thin films. Phys. Rev. B 79, 144124 (2009).
  • Beckman, S., Chelikowsky, J. and Han, J. Quantum confinement effects in Ge [110] nanowires. Phys. Rev. B 74, (2006).
  • Xu, X., Beckman S. P., Specht, P., Weber, E. R., Chrzan, D. C., Erni, R. P., Arslan, I., Browning, N., Bleloch, A., Kisielowski, C. Distortion and segregation in a dislocation core region at atomic resolution. Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, (2005).