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WKU Engineering Faculty and Staff - Chris Byrne

Chris Byrne, PhD, PE

Chris Byrne, PhD, PE


Office:  EBS 2120
Phone:  270-745-6286


  • Materials science
  • Carbon materials
  • Composites
  • Composite processing
  • Non-destructive evaluation
  • Friction
  • Wear


         Chris Byrne had an early interest in learning how to make things and in figuring out how to make things work. Influenced by his family and neighbors he worked on machines, lawn mowers, snowmobiles and cars. He attended the University of New Hampshire – Durham, further developing his early interests by majoring in mechanical engineering.  During and after his undergraduate studies Byrne utilized many of his engineering skills in his contracting and home renovation work in the seacoast region of New Hampshire while maintaining an interest in further academic endeavors.  His goals led him to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland for his graduate studies, earning both masters and doctoral degrees in Materials Science and Engineering.  In that time he further synthesized his applied and theoretical skills while exploring the many aspects of materials science and materials processing associated with metallurgy, ceramics, plastics, and composites.  Interactions with multiple industries through the Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation honed his understanding of how research can aid developments in the private sector.  In his post-doctoral work at Johns Hopkins, his research efforts focused on new methods for making di-lithium crystals for transducer applications, as well as furthering developments in carbon-based materials.  Byrne chose to make a career in academia where he could combine his passion for creative endeavors while imparting to students a desire for lifelong learning.  While a faculty at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale he interacted with partners in the transportation industry associated with a university center for advanced friction studies.  His research in carbon aircraft brakes shed light on challenges that industry faced in making reliable products.  Ultimately, Byrne chose to be at WKU where he could provide opportunities to students for practical application, creativity, and a cognizance for market needs within a program focused on undergraduate education

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 Last Modified 9/25/14