John R. Hellmann, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University earned his B.S and Ph.D. degrees in Ceramic Science from Penn State in 1977 and 1981, respectively.

He was a member of technical staff in the Ceramics Development Division at Sandia National Laboratories-Albuquerque (1981-1986), where he worked on thermal shock damage in nuclear fuels, fracture/fatigue of glass bonded aluminas, and ceramic matrix composites.

He returned to Penn State in 1986 as Assistant Professor of Ceramic Science and Engineering and Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced Materials, an industry and federally funded center focused on thermostructural materials.   He served as Chairman – Ceramic Science and Engineering (1998-2001), Associate Head for Undergraduate Studies – Materials Science and Engineering (2001-2007), Associate Dean for Education (2007-2012), and is currently the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research. He oversees a $65 million annual research and education portfolio on earth, energy, materials, and environmental science, comprising over 150 faculty and 600 graduate students in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

His research addresses materials for propulsion/power systems, oil/natural gas recovery, armor, and cutting tools.  He is an author of >120 refereed publications and five patents, with the support from DoE, NASA, ONR, NSF, and industry.  He is most proud and humbled by his 120 graduate and undergraduate advisees, many of whom have received national and international awards for their work.

He is a Fellow of The American Ceramic Society, CEC Outstanding Educator (2008), Greaves-Walker Roll of Honor (2018), served on the Board of Directors, as Associate Editor of the Journal, and as President of the Ceramic Educational Council, the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, and Keramos National Professional Ceramic Engineering Fraternity.