B. Reeja Jayan is an associate professor in mechanical engineering and Dean’s Early Career Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She also holds courtesy appointments in Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments. Jayan leads the Adaptive Experimentation Thrust at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Center of Excellence at CMU. Her multidisciplinary research lies at the intersection of electromagnetics and materials science. Her group pioneered instrumentation to watch chemical reactions taking place under microwave radiation. These tools can map out dynamic structural transformations and measure kinetic parameters as reactions progress from precursor molecules towards various structural polymorphs. She applies this knowledge of field-matter coupling mechanisms to lower temperatures and to control reaction pathways, thus enabling the sustainable synthesis, processing, and manufacturing of ceramic materials for energy storage and sensing applications.

Jayan is a strong believer in game-based learning methodologies that she uses extensively in her undergraduate and graduate engineering courses. She is a recipient of the 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, 2017 Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Award, 2016 Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award, CMU Engineering Dean’s Early Career Fellowship, the George Tallman Ladd Research Award, the Donald L. and Rhonda Struminger Faculty Fellowship, the Berkman Faculty Development Fund, and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award. Her research is also funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and by private sponsors.

5111 Scott Hall
Google Scholar
B. Reeja Jayan
Jayan Lab website

Giving a Second Look at Materials, from Cellphones to Clothing


2012 Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

2008 MS, Electrical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

2002 B. Tech., Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Kerala

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

So tricky, a robot can do it

Carnegie Mellon Researchers have taken inspiration from geckos to create a material that adheres to wet and dry surfaces, even on an incline.

International Microwave Power Institute

Jayan elected to IMPI Board

MechE’s Reeja Jayan has been elected to the Board of International Microwave Power Institute, the leading scientific organization dedicated to the international microwave energy community.

Utah Public Radio

Jayan talks about representation and her unconventional career path

MechE’s Reeja Jayan talks to Utah Public Radio about her nonlinear path toward becoming a professor in engineering. She is the author of a chapter in the recently published book Women in Mechanical Engineering.

New York Times

Jayan’s Minecraft course featured in New York Times

MechE’s Reeja Jayan was quoted in The New York Times about her use of Minecraft for a materials science class.

Mechanical Engineering

A nonlinear path

MechE’s Reeja Jayan contributed an inspirational chapter to the new book, Women in Mechanical Engineering: Energy and Environment, in which she discusses her atypical journey to a career in engineering.

Reeja named to ACerS Electronic Leadership

MechE's B. Reeja Jayan was nominated Secretary-Elect of the Electronics Division of the American Ceramics Society (ACerS).

Mechanical Engineering

Jayan project awarded $7.5 million

Jayan will lead the CMU team to learn about the effects of various types of energy radiation on electronic materials to potentially identify ways to engineer radiation hardened materials for use in space exploration vehicles.

Jayan contributes to book on women in mechanical engineering

MechE’s Reeja Jayan contributed a chapter to the new book, Women in Mechanical Engineering: Energy and Environment, published through Springer. Jayan’s chapter discusses the joy, risks, and hardships she encountered on the way to a career in engineering.

US Department of Defense

Jayan’s project receives DOD funding

MechE’s Reeja Jayan is involved with a project that was chosen for funding through the US Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative.

CMU Engineering

Students’ ingenuity automates scientific research

In an effort to modernize scientific research, CMU students used only commercial parts and the cardboard boxes they came in to build a modular robot able to autonomously conduct experiments.

CMU Engineering

One thing leads to another

Novel methods for making ceramics could abate environmental problems.

CMU Engineering

Microwaving new materials

Reeja Jayan has made a breakthrough in our understanding of how microwaves affect materials chemistry, laying the groundwork for tailor-made ceramic materials with new electronic, thermal, and mechanical properties.