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Former students, Associates and Visitors 

Jesh BarnettJesh Barnett

Jesh worked on our team as an undergraduate on the tungsten project for fusion reactors. He helped graduate students with tasks such as milling nano powders, spray drying powder, diluting acids and bases, etc. He is currently working on one of the titanium projects.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his dogs and off-roading. 

Dustyn Roberts 

Dustyn is currently attending Utah State University studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and Aerospace Studies. He is working with Dr. Fang over the summers doing lab work with Titanium.

He enjoys hunting, archery, and off-roading. 

Cj Roberts

CjCj is studying Manufacturing Engineering at Weber State University. This summer of 2018 was his first summer working with Powder Metallurgy.

He enjoys welding, powder coating, and spending time outdoors.

Jarom Chamberlain

JaromJarom was introduced to metallurgical engineering by his father. Now almost through his undergraduate degree, Jarom has become very fond of Powder Metallurgy and its various applications. He began work on the Tungsten Carbide project by polishing and mounting drill bit samples for analysis. He later joined the Titanium group were he now assists with characterization of Titanium powders. 

In his spare time he enjoys swimming, waterpolo and tennis. 

Collin Andersen

collinCollin began working for Dr. Fang in summer of 2018. He assists with powder production and other laboratory tasks. 

He enjoys drawing and spending time with family.

James ParamoreJames Paramore
James Paramore was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. James started college as a music major, but switched majors at the advice of a friend and joined the Department of Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Utah in 2004. As an undergraduate, he was very involved in laboratory research and, in 2005, joined a project in Prof. Zak Fang’s group aimed at producing nanocrystalline tungsten by powder metallurgical methods. After graduating from the University of Utah in 2008, James joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a graduate student. At MIT, his graduate advisor was Prof. Donald Sadoway, under whom he researched molten oxide electrolysis for the production of iron, titanium, and oxygen. James graduated from MIT in 2010 with an M.S. and a thesis entitled “Inert Anode Development for Iron Production by Molten Oxide Electrolysis.” After MIT, James was hired by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. While at ARL, James began a collaborative research project with his undergraduate advisor, Prof. Fang. This new project was a return to powder metallurgy, researching a new process for producing low-cost titanium with exceptional mechanical properties via powder metallurgy. In 2012, James was convinced by Prof. Fang to forfeit his comfortable salary at ARL and return to the University of Utah as a starving PhD student. He graduated with his PhD in 2015 and now works full-time for ARL as a Visiting Materials Scientist at the University of Utah.
Dr. James Paramore (jaymz PEAR-uh-more)
Visiting Materials Scientist - United States Army Research Laboratory
University of Utah
135 South 1460 East Room 412
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Office: (801)581-3264
Fax: (801)581-4937
Mobile: (801)637-0797

Tuoyang ZhangTuoyang Zhang

Tuoyang was born and raised in tangshan, China. He got his B.S. and M.S. degree from Central South University in changsha. He joined Dr. Fang's group in 2014 to pursue his PhD degree in Department of Metallurgical Engineering in University of Utah. He is now focused on removal of oxygen from titanium oxides in the HAMR process.

Wyatt John Mcneil

WyattWyatt John McNeill was born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah. He graduated with his B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering in Spring of 2018. Beginning in Summer 2018, he started Ph.D. research on Titanium Powder Metallurgy and Mechanical Properties. Past research has been on extracting Titanium from Ores through Hydrometallurgy.

He enjoys powerlifting, shooting guns at National Competitions, and riding his bullet bike (when he has free time).

Oblad Silver Medal Of Excellence (2018)
Deans Honor List for Graduation (2018)
Junior of the Year in Metallurgical Engineering (2017)

Marty Simmons

MartyMarty Simmons is specializing in Tungsten Powder Metallurgy because he loves hard metals. He graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelors degree in Metallurgical Engineering and is excited for his graduate schooling experience. He enjoys spending time with his family and exploring the outdoors with his chihuahua Kiki.

Dr. Mark KoopmanDr. Mark Koopman, Research Assistant Professor

Mark’s academic research has spanned metallurgy, syntactic foams and composites, with an emphasis on materials characterization, particularly electron microspies, microanalysis and mechanical testing. He holds graduate degrees in materials science and environmental engineering from UAB and did postgraduate work at Harvard University. His work in the Fang group has centered on HSPT processing of Ti hydride powder, as well as continuing work on hard tool materials and nano-W research.

Interests: world cultures and cuisines, wilderness and travel

Office – WBB 506

Correspondence: Dept. of Metallurgy, 135 South 1460 East, Rm 412, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 .

Dr. Lei XuDr. Lei Xu, Research Associate


Lei Xu is now a post doctoral fellow in Department of Metallurgical Engineering at University of Utah. He used to work in Dr. Kun Wu’s group from 2008 to 2011, in the area of fabrication of Mg matrix composite with micro and nano size whisker and particle. The relationship between the mechanical properties and the microstructure was bridged with different fabrication and deformation conditions. Based on the results, he received a B. S. and M. E. in Materials Science from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. In the following 4 years (2011-2015), he joined the LATEST2 program in Dr. Philip Prangnell’s group at University of Manchester, UK. He got a Ph. D degree with the thesis title ‘Controlling Interfacial Reaction in Aluminum to Steel Dissimilar Metal Welding’ there. The diffusion details including the kinetics between aluminum alloys and steel was investigated by microstructure observation and modelling. After that, he joined Dr. Fang’s group in University of Utah for the Ti powder project.

His current research interest focuses on Ti powder production, including GSD process for production of spherical Ti alloy powder for additive manufacturing (3D printing) of Ti, and the optimization of irregular Ti powder.

Outside of research Lei enjoying reading, playing badminton and spending time with his family.

Dr. Yang XiaDr. Yang Xia, Research Associate

Yang Xia was born in Anqing, Anhui, China. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Central South University in China, and PhD degree in Materials Engineering from University of Queensland in Australia.

His research interests include powder processing and fabrication of various materials, especially titanium and titanium alloys, and characterization of microstructures and novel materials. He is currently working on a new low cost process for producing TiH2/Ti powder by the direct reduction of Ti slag/TiO2 with Mg/MgH2.

He likes playing basketball, hiking and skiing.

Dr. Chai RenDr. Chai Ren, Research Associate

Chai Ren was born and raised in Beijing, China. He has been at the University of Utah since 2009 and received his Ph.D degree in Metallurgical Engineering in August, 2012. His doctoral dissertation research focused the development of Fe-based magnetostriction materials. Currently, he is working on nano-W materials for fusion reactor application. His research interests include powder metallurgy, hydrogen storage, magnetic materials, synchrotron and neutron based techniques, single crystal growth and characterization.

Hyrum D. LeflerHyrum D. Lefler

Hyrum was raised in southern Utah, where he earned his first bachelor’s degree (BA Statesmanship), and worked as a construction foreman on residential and commercial projects before becoming a manager at an internet marketing company, and also serving as Mayor of the Town of Leeds, UT. After these experiences, Hyrum decided to return to school to pursue a career in engineering. During his time as an undergraduate at the University of Utah, he worked as an intern for Rio Tinto (May 2012 – March 2014) on their Chalcopyrite Heap Leach Project at the Bingham Canyon. He graduated, with Honors, in May of 2015.

During his senior year Hyrum worked for Dr. Fang as an Undergraduate Research assistant on the HAMR project (Hydrogen Assisted Magnesium Reduction), which is funded by ARPA-E of the Department of Energy, and after graduation he was accepted to graduate school at the University of Utah, where he continues to work on the HAMR project. His focus is on removal of impurities from Ti-slag, the mechanisms and kinetics (including modeling) of direct reduction in the HAMR process, and techno-economic analysis of the HAMR process for optimization and comparison purposes as it moves towards scale-up to commercialization.

In his spare time, Hyrum enjoys writing fiction, reading, hiking, camping, and playing the piano. He and his wife Tessa have six children, and love spending time together as a family.

Matt DunstanDr. Matt Dunstan

Matt Dunstan was born and raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan and came to the University of Utah in 2011 to study Metallurgical Engineering. During his undergraduate studies Matt joined Dr. Fang’s research team working on the titanium hydrogen sintering phase transformation (HSPT) project and was immediately attracted to the researching scene. As an undergraduate researcher Matt was able to present his work on the compaction characteristics of TiH2 powders at the 2014 Powder Metallurgy World Conference in Orlando, Florida. Matt was as an intern for the small turbine engine company Williams International in Walled Lake, Michigan during the summer of 2013. During this internship Matt gained valuable experience in industry that has changed the course of his career pursuits.

After graduating in 2014 Matt stayed with Dr. Fang’s research group in pursuit of a PhD. Specifically Matt is studying the microstructural and mechanical characteristics of the HSPT process.

Outside of research Matt loves to spend time with his wife and three children.

Professor Wenyuan Zhang

Wenyan Zhang comes from Xi’an, China. He received his Ph. D. degree in Central South University (2011). He started his work career in Northwest Institute for Nor-ferrous metal Research as an engineer, then as a senior researcher. Since 2015, he worked in Northwest University as a professor. His main research interests are porous materials and nor-ferrous metals. Currently, he is working and studying at Professor Fang’s Group as a visiting scholar.

yingDr. Ying Zhang

Dr. Ying Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Process Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPE-CAS).  Her main research interests and expertise are in the areas of hydrometallurgy, titanium metallurgy, applied inorganic chemistry, synthesis of metallic powders, and energy efficient clean production of metals. From February 2014 to November 2016, she was a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering of the University of Utah. During her tenure at the University of Utah, she played a key role and made critical and major contributions to the development of the hydrogen assisted magnesiothermic reduction (HAMR) process for production of Ti primary metal from TiO2 and deoxygenation of Ti powder.  Her groundbreaking research on the destabilization of Ti-O system by hydrogen was published in the Journal of American Chemical Society (JACS). She is also one of the co-inventors and a key contributor to development of the GSD process for production of spherical Ti alloy powder for additive manufacturing (3D printing) of Ti. She is currently funded by Natural Science Foundation of China to continue fundamental as well as engineering research of the HAMR process. Prof. Zhang and Prof. Fang continue to collaborate closely in all aspects of Ti metallurgy.

Dr. Ying Zhang obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the Central South University (2006) in China, and her Ph.D degree from IPE-CAS in 2011. Her doctoral dissertation research was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Yi Zhang and Prof. Shili Zheng in IPE-CAS, Beijing. She was an Assistant professor in IPE-CAS from 2011 to 2015. Dr. Zhang has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications in peer reviewed journals. She is also the inventor or co-inventor of 4 US Patents, and more than 20 Chinese patents.

Outside work, she is a great folk singer and an excellent chef of Hunan cuisine.


Omar KergayeOmar Kergaye

Omar Kergaye was born and raised in Utah. He did his undergraduate degree in metallurgy and studied iron powder flash processes. Upon graduation Omar joined the Fang research group in the summer of 2016, studying high temperature titanium powder metallurgy. After two years he finished his work and received his masters. Till this day, Omar is an avid gamer and enjoys outdoor recreational activities such as fishing and hiking.

Zhe HuangZhe Huang

Zhe was born in Maanshan city, Anhui province in China. He graduated from Kunming University of Science and Technology in China in 2013 and started his graduate study in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering in the University of Utah in Spring of 2014. His research area is on the new extraction process of Titanium.

Huan ZhangHuan Zhang

Huan was born in QianJiang, China. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Design and Manufacture in 2014 from the College of Technology and Engineering at Yangtze University. Areas of her study have included advanced mathematics, college physics, metal processing technology, principles of mechanics, technology of exchangeability measurement, mechanics of materials, mechanical designing, mechanical engineering materials, digit control techniques, mechanic engineering control, and CAD/CAM/CAE.

She is currently pursuing a master’s degree here at the University of Utah, and looks forward to graduating and moving into a position offering challenge and responsibility in the realm of mechanical design, manufacturing, and/or working with advanced materials. In her spare time, Huan enjoys traveling and reading.

Taylor SmithTaylor Smith

Taylor began working as an undergraduate on one of the titanium projects. He assisted  graduate students with tasks such as operating the furnaces, leaching, diluting acids and bases, etc. He currently works as the Quality Assurance Metallurgist at the Cold Finish and Wire Products for Nuccor Steel. He enjoys learning and playing with his dog. 

Lu YangLu Yang

Lu Yang was born in Jiangxi province, China. She received her B.S. in materials science and engineering from Beijing university of Technology in 2012, and then she joined Dr. Fang’s group as a graduate research assistant in Fall, 2012. Currently she is working on studying of powder metallurgy processing steps aiming to reduce oxygen content in titanium hydride.

Lin GuLin Gu

Lin Gu (Raymond.G) comes from Wuhan, China. He received his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from both China University of Petroleum Beijing, and University of Alaska Fairbanks. As a graduate research assistant, he works on tungsten and tungsten carbide. Currently he is involved in Kingdream Public Limited Company’s diamond-tungsten metal project.

Xiangyi LuoXiangyi Luo

Xiangyi Luo was born and raised in several riverside cities in the south of China. She received her B.S. from Peking University in 2008, before coming to the University of Utah for a graduate degree. She joined Dr. Fang's group in 2011, and began the graduate work in electrode materials of rechargeable Li-air battery, in cooperation with Argonne National Laboratory.

In her spare time, she likes travelling, reading, swimming, and volleyball.

Bo LiuBo Liu

Bo Liu graduated from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. He received M.S. of thermal physics engineering in HUAXZHONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. He began studying at University of Utah for PH.D degree in 2009. In 2011, he was engaged in developing new anode material for Li-ion batteries in Argonne National Laboratory.

Jingzhu Li (April)Jingzhu Li (April)

Jingzhu Li (April) is from Yichun, a city plenty of gorgeous scenery as well as lithium resources in west Jiangxi, China. In 2011, she got her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering, Central South University. Then she came to Utah to pursue her Master’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering, University of Utah. She was involved in the Metal Hydrides Thermal Battery project and focused mainly on the kinetics of metal hydrides. She now works in the Oil and Gas Industry.

She loves music, photography, camping and skiing.

Scott MiddlemasScott Middlemas

Scott was born and raised in Sandy, Utah. He joined Dr. Fang's group in 2008 as an undergraduate research assistant working on functionally-graded WC-Co and hydrogen storage alloys. He received his B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah in 2009 and began his graduate studies with Dr. Fang that same year. He graduated with his Ph. D in Metallurgical Engineering in 2013. His dissertation was titled “Energy-Conscious Production of Titania and Titanium Powders from Slag,” and involved developing and modeling the environmental impact of two new hydrometallurgical methods for upgrading titanium slag to commercially pure titanium dioxide and titanium metal powders. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Army Research Laboratories. Scott enjoys biking, hiking, running, and spending time with his wife and 3 children.

Dr. Xu WangDr. Xu Wang

Xu Wang was born in Beipiao, Liaoning, China. He received his B.S./M.S. in materials science at the University of Science and Technology Beijing China and Ph.D. degree in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Utah.

In our group researched nano tungsten materials for future fusion reactors to make the ultimate energy for humans. His research interests included Nano Powder Metallurgy, Functional designed microstructure, Hard & Superhard Materials, and Surface Engineering. He currently works at Federal Carbide Company in PA.

He likes reading, playing tennis, and doing new things.

Dr. Jun GuoDr. Jun Guo

Jun (Jane) Guo was born in Ganzhou City (China), known as the "Tungsten Capital of the World". She received her bachelor’s degree from Central South University in China in 2006 and her doctoral degree in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Utah in 2010.

In our group she also did early research on a low cost process for producing TiH2/Ti powder by the direct reduction of Ti slag with MgH2. Her research interests included powder metallurgy, functionally graded cemented tungsten carbide, thermal energy storage, porous Ti foam, etc. She currently works at Federal Carbide Company in PA.

Brady ButlerBrady Butler

Brady currently works as a Materials Engineer at Army Research Lab in Baltimore, MD.

Hongtao WangHongtao Wang

Hongtao Wang was born in Liaoning, China. He is researching Sintering and Grain Growth of Nanosized Powders. He enjoys basketball, watching movies, travelling and hiking.

David HardingDavid Harding

He was the first graduate student in our group from 2002 till 2006. He is currently the Principal Engineer at Dymicron Inc. in Orem, Utah. His expertise is on polycrystalline diamond and its bio applications.

Dr. Olapado EsoDr. Oladapo Eso

He was the second graduate student in the group. He is currently a staff engineer for technology at Kennametal Inc. He is an expert on tungsten carbide materials and processes.

Jun LuDr. Jun Lu

He joined the group in 2004 as a doctoral student focusing on metal hydride for hydrogen storage. Then he joined Argon National Laboratory in 2010 and have been focusing on the science of Li ion battery since. He is now an endowed chair professor at Zhejiang University of China.

Habio ZhangDr. Haibo Zhang

He completed his Ph.D. dissertation on the mechanical behavior of cemented tungsten carbide. He joined Megadiamond of Schlumberger Inc. in 2011 and is an executive member of a synthetic diamond company in China.

Vineet KumarVineet Kumar, MS

He completed his Ph.D. in 2013. He worked for Kennametal Inc in the tungsten carbide industry before forming his own company focusing on developing software tools for materials science and engineering.

Peng Fang

He was a senior research scientist and manager of the group. He was involved in and contributed significantly to the development of the functionally graded cemented tungsten carbide, the application of metal hydride for thermal energy storage, and the production titanium. He is now a senior research engineer with Monsanto Inc.



Last Updated: 9/1/23