Grady Bentzel: New PhD student

Grady Bentzel, who just graduated with a BS in Materials Science from Drexel University, has joined the MAX phase research group as a PhD student!


Why Materials?

Growing up, I was obsessed with legos. I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but wasn’t until the summer before my senior year of high school that I was introduced to Materials Engineering. At that time, I was in a summer mentorship program here at Drexel, working in Dr. Gogotsi’s lab on supercapacitors. The research I did in those two weeks sold me, and I enrolled into the MSE program at Drexel. I was later suggested to join the MAX phase group, and after meeting with Dr. Barsoum and learning what my project would be, I quickly jumped on board.

Research areas

My work now is on the chemical compatibility and diffusion of the MAX phases for advanced reactor fuel and component design. I’ve wanted a nuclear-related research project to make use of my minor in Nuclear Engineering, and my previous work in Dr. Taheri’s group working with metals mainly focused on corrosion. This project with MAX phases couldn’t have been better suited for me and I’m looking forward to many years working on it.


When grad school doesn’t take up all of my time, you would find me indulging in at least one of my favorite pastimes. I’ve played soccer since I was five, and I played on a very competitive level in high school. I’ve always had an interest in music, and usually have something playing as I work. I also dabble in playing guitar. When all else fails and I’m desperate for something to do, watching movies or playing video games is a good way to pass the time.

Welcome to the group, Grady!

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