Sipei Li receives Sykes Prize


Sipei Li was awarded the 2022 Sykes Prize, which is awarded annually to Case Western Reserve University’s Materials Science and Engineering senior with “most outstanding research and thesis.”

Working with Associate Professor Jennifer Carter on his senior project, “Phase Transformation-Induced Creep Strength in High Entropy Alloys,” Li focused on computational simulation for Gibbs Free Energy on different high entropy alloy compositions. Having first learned about Gibbs Free Energy in EMSE 327: Thermodynamic Stability and Rate Processes, he used his knowledge of the Gibbs Free Energy Diagram for analysis.

In high school, Li went to the environmental science department at Nankai University in his native China, where researchers were trying to clean soils and find the pollution. “I thought, I thought ‘why can't I invent a new material to do that instead of using so many chemicals,’” said Li, crediting that visit with sparking his interest in materials science and engineering. “I like finding the truth and trends in science, and the design and invention in engineering.”

During his undergraduate years, Li is proud of the research projects he did and of his strong performance in various courses. He praised the department’s faculty, particularly Associate Professor Mark De Guire, for being “really good and kind people.”

After he graduates from CWRU in May with his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, Li plans to start his Ph.D. studies, with a goal of becoming a professor in the future.