Associate Professor, Materials Department
Director, Advanced Analysis Facility
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
EMS Building, Room 1175
3200 N. Cramer St.

Ben Church was born and raised in Saginaw, MI and graduated from Michigan Tech in 1997 with a B.S. in Materials Science / Metallurgical Engineering. From 1997 to 1999 he was a materials engineer at Honda R&D in Raymond, OH, after which he entered graduate school at Georgia Tech. He received his M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees in Materials Science and Engineering under Thomas Sanders, Jr.. After a post-doc at Georgia Tech with Ken Sandhage, he worked for Modine Manufacturing in Racine, WI as a technical advisor in the Metallurgical Lab from 2006 to 2009.

Ben joined UWM in 2009 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2015.  His research interests include high-temperature materials for petrochemical processing and power generation, novel processing of ceramics, metals, and composites, physical metallurgy, brazing, thermal analysis of materials, processing-structure-property relations, electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. He enjoys working on industrial issues with materials science and is active with mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students. Ben is married and enjoys fishing, cooking, and aviation. He is a certificated private pilot and is currently building a four-seat experimental airplane.

Ph.D. Students

Lizeth Nayibe Ortiz Reyes

Elmer Prenzlow

Kao Zoua Yang

Dan Kaminski

Master Students

  • Dustin J. Wenninger

Undergraduate Students

  • Ismael Coello
  • Zach Breider
  • Davan Siegfried


Past Group Members


Marjan Nezafati, PhD, Dissertation: “In Silico Analysis of Advanced Processing for Lightweight Alloys Powders”  Materials Science and Engineering, Graduated December 2018

Shengyi Li, PhD, Dissertation: “Corrosion of Aluminum Current Collector in Cost Effective Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries” Materials Science and Engineering, Graduated December 2016

Aruna Pushpa Kumara W Wanninayake PhD (Co-Advised with Dr. Nidal Abu-Zahra) Dissertation: “Nanostructured Organic/Inorganic Semiconductor Photovoltaics: Investigation on Morphology and Optoelectronics Performance” Materials Science and Engineering, Graduated May 2016

Yangping Sheng. PhD, Dissertation: “Investigation of Electrolyte Wetting in Lithium Ion Batteries: Effects of Electrode Pore Structures and Solution”  Materials Science and Engineering, Graduated December 2015

Humberto Mendoza.  PhD. (co-advised with H. Lopez) Thesis “High Temperature Stability of 316 Autenitic Stainless Steels Coated with CeO2 Nanoparticles” Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Fall 2011



Eddie Rodriguez, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2020

Derek Kiesling, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2019

Ornina Shamoun, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2018

Jeremy Chang, MS, Thesis “Effects of Electrolyte Formulation on Graphite Anode for Wide Temperature Application”, Materials Engineering, Graduated Fall 2017, Co-Advised with Dr. Deyang Qu

Wen-Chieh (Jason) Lee, MS, Thesis “High Temperature Oxidation and Metal Dusting Resistance of Traditional Iron-Based and Novel Alumina-Forming Austenitic Steels” Graduated Summer 2017

Lizeth Nayibe Ortiz Reyes, MS, Thesis “Coking Resistance of Alumina Forming Cast Austenitic Stainless Steel” Materials Engineering, Graduated Spring 2017

Daniel Uphoff, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2017

Elmer A. Prenzlow, MS, Thesis ” High Temperature Oxidation of Austenitic Stainless Steel within an Environment of Pure Steam”, Materials Engineering, Graduated Fall 2016

Ryan Seidler, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Fall 2016

Lingke Mao, MS, Thesis “Study of Ceria Nanoparticles Synthesis and the Performance of Nano-ceria Coating for High Temperature Oxidation Resistance in Combustion Atmosphere” Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2016

Lorne Forsyth, MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2015

Brad Lindner. MS, Thesis “Thermodynamic and Kinetic Simulation of Transient Liquid-Phase Bonding”  Materials Engineering.  Graduated Summer 2015

Thomas Cross. MS, Thesis “Effects of Ball Milling and Sintering on Alumina and Alumina-Boron Compounds”  Materials Engineering.  Graduated Summer 2014

Luis Giraldez. MS, Thesis “Effect of Relative Humidity in High Temperature Oxidation of Ceria Nanoparticles Coating on 316I Austenitic Stainless Steel” Materials Engineering.  Graduated Summer 2013

Kyle Kalbus. MS, Thesis “Copper Intercalation into Graphite” Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Fall 2012

Saboura Rokhsari.  MS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2012

Ruben Sanchez. MS, Thesis “Wear Behavior of Reinforced Aluminum Bronze-Titanium Carbide Composites”  Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2010



Robert Porter, BS, Materials Engineering, expected graduation Fall 2017

Robert Hansen.  BS, Materials Engineering, Graduated Spring 2017

Bryce Erwin. BS, Materials Engineering, Graduated Spring 2016

William Corson.  BS, Materials Engineering. Graduated Spring 2016

Steve Acker, BS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated Fall 2015

Alysha A. Brouer.  BS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2013

Daniel Kaminski. BS, Materials Engineering and Chemistry.  Graduated Fall 2012

Evan Wind.  BS, Mechanical Engineering.  Graduated, Spring 2012

Lisa Hogan.  BS, Materials Engineering.  Graduated, Fall 2010


Professional Societies and activities

    • Action in Education Committee
    • ASM – Milwaukee,  Executive Board Member (2008-present), Past Chair (2010-2011), EGMF Committee Member(2011-2020); Treasurer (2019-present)
  • ASEE
    • Women in Engineering Division
    • Minorities in Engineering Division