Lab Personnel

Instructor – Dr. Jessica TerBush

Dr. TerBush joined the MatSE faculty as a lecturer in August 2016. She currently teaches both MSE 307 and MSE 308, as well as the summer version of the labs, and serves on both the Undergraduate Advising and the Undergraduate Awards committees in the department.

Jessica earned her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in August 2010. Her PhD research focused on creep in magnesium alloys, and was supervised by Profs. J. Wayne Jones and Tresa Pollock. During her PhD studies, Jessica had her first lab teaching experience, serving as a graduate student instructor (GSI) for MSE 360 (Materials Lab I). Following graduation, Dr. TerBush spent almost three years working at Monash University in Australia as a Research Fellow in Dr. Jian-Feng Nie’s group in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals.  Here, her focus was characterization of cast and wrought Mg alloys, particularly utilizing electron microscopy. After completing her post-doc, Dr. TerBush next worked as a Senior Research Specialist at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. From 2013-2016, she managed both the SEM/FIB and TEM for the Materials Research Center, and was responsible for training new users on the instruments, as well as running samples and collecting data for non-users. She also gained additional lab teaching experience working as the laboratory instructor for the Transmission Electron Microscopy course (MET 414/MET 5530).

  • PhD – Materials Science and Engineering – University of Michigan – August 2010
  • M.S.E. – Materials Science and Engineering – University of Michigan – August 2008
  • B.S.E. – Materials Science and Engineering – University of Michigan – December 2003
Selected Research Skills and Techniques
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy / Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (S/TEM)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Focused Ion Beam (FIB)
  • Electron MicroProbe Analysis (EPMA)
  • Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD)
  • Tensile and Compressive Creep Testing
  • Metallographic Preparation
  • Induction Melting and Casting of Mg (small-scale)
  • Mechanical Property Testing
Selected Publications
  • J.R. TerBush, N. Stanford, J.F. Nie and M.R. Barnett, “Na partitioning during thermo-mechanical processing of an Mg-Sn-Zn-Na alloy,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 44 (2013) 5216-5225.
  • N. Stanford, J.R. TerBush, M. Setty and M.R. Barnett, “Grain refinement of an extruded Mg alloy via Na micro-alloying,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 44 (2013) 2466-2469.
  • J.R. TerBush, O.H. Chen, J.W. Jones and T.M. Pollock, “The dependence of creep behavior on elemental partitioning in Mg-5Al-3Ca-xSn alloys,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 43 (2012) 3120-3134.
  • J.R. TerBush, N.D. Saddock, J.W. Jones and T.M. Pollock, “Partitioning of solute to the primary α-Mg phase in creep resistant Mg-Al-Ca-based cast alloys,” Metallurgical And Materials Transactions A, 41 (2010) 2435-2442.
  • J.R. TerBush, A. Suzuki, N.D. Saddock, J.W. Jones and T.M. Pollock, “Dislocation substructures of three die-cast Mg-Al-Ca based alloys”, Scripta Materialia, 58 (2008) 914-917.
  • A. Suzuki, N.D. Saddock, J.R. TerBush, B.R. Powell, J.W. Jones and T.M. Pollock, “Precipitation strengthening of a Mg-Al-Ca – Based AXJ530 die-cast alloy”, Metall. And Mat. Trans. A, 39A (2008) 696-702.
Contact Info
  • Office – 207 Ceramics
  • Mailing – 201 MSEB, 1304 W Green St, Urbana IL 61801
  • Phone – (217) 300-9924
  • Email –


Lab Manager – Nicole Robards

Nicole is the Assistant Director of Facilities and Instructional Labs for the Materials Science and Engineering department.  Among her many roles, Nicole is responsible for the set-up and maintenance of all the equipment for the junior lab experiments – no small task!  She also trains all of the TAs prior to the start of lab. We are very lucky to have someone like her!


Current Teaching Assistants

  • Benjamin Hulbert
  • Chaoyang Liu
  • Sushant Mahat
  • Scott McCormack
  • Andrew Steveson
  • Victoria Nahmod-Alvarez (undergraduate)
  • Jai Sharma (undergraduate)
  • Daniel Vaz (undergraduate)