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Michael Dickey

Alcoa Professor & University Faculty Scholar

Engineering Building I (EB1) 2088G



The Dickey group is studying new ways to pattern, actuate, and control soft materials (gels, polymers, liquid metals). A common theme of our projects is the importance of thin films, interfacial phenomena, and microfabrication. Our approach is to (i) elucidate the fundamental properties of materials such that they can be harnessed in a useful manner, and (ii) develop new, unconventional approaches to fabricate, actuate, and assemble these materials. Applications of the research include patterning, 3D printing, stretchable / soft electronics, self-folding, actuation of soft robotics, wearable electronics, energy harvesting devices, reconfigurable circuits, and microfluidics..

We are also interested in photo-curable polymeric materials, particularly those used in both photo- and imprint lithography. The properties (curing speed, sensitivity, elemental composition, dielectric constant, mechanical properties, viscosity, etc.) of these materials must be tailored and optimized depending on the application.

Research Description

Focus Areas - Micro- and Nanotechnology. Microfluidics. Soft Materials. Nanoelectronics. Photovoltaics. Polymer Thin-Films. Directed Assembly.


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BS, Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (1999)
MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (2003)
PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (2006)
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemistry, Harvard University (2006-2008)

Honors and Awards

  • 2013 ASEE Southeastern Section New Faculty Research Award
  • 2013 University Faculty Scholar
  • 2012 Outstanding Teacher Award - Member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State University
  • 2011 Sigma Xi Faculty Award
  • 2010 National Science Foundation CAREER Award