University of Delaware - College of Engineering

Diana R. Haidar

PhD Candidate
NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Materials Tribology Laboratory
Mechanical Engineering Dept.
University of Delaware

Office: 333 Spencer Laboratory
Curriculum Vitae

Executive Summary

Ms. Haidar is a NSF Research Fellow entering in her fourth year as a doctoral student, and is advised by professor David L. Burris in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Delaware. While previously conducting research on nanocomposites as an undergraduate at UW-Madison, she cultivated a deep interest in the development of next-generation advanced materials. She now applies her knowledge of designing nanocomposites to the field of tribology by developing both aluminum metal matrix nanocomposites to resist the sever wear of scuffing and polymeric solid lubricants to perform with low friction and long lifetime in extreme environments. She aims to bring these two tribomaterials together by mating an aluminum-based material that maintains a stable contact interface during dry sliding with a polymeric solid lubricant, which allows the polymer to form a sacrificial transfer film that protects the soft polymer from direct contact with hard counterface asperities and promotes ultralow wear resistance. These uniquely lightweight aluminum-polymer bearings could greatly improve efficiencies over traditional systems.

Awards and Honors

Women In Engineering Grant, 2016

Awarded funding for an undergraduate to conduct research and receive mentoring under Diana’s supervision during the spring semester of 2016.

Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2015

Awarded in recognition of excellent scholarship and creativity in engineering as a teaching assistant.

Global Grand Challenges Summit Travel Grant to Beijing China, 2015

Selected by the University of Delaware Engineering Dean’s Office to attend a summit where leaders, thinkers and doers discussed engineering solutions to global challenges.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014

Awarded for demonstrating the potential for significant research achievements to STEM fields.

University of Delaware Professional Development Award for Conference Attendance, 2014

Awarded funds for travel to give an oral presentation on the Wear of Aluminum Matrix Nanocomposites: Al6061-Al2O3 at the 2014 STLE Annual Meeting.

Pilot Project Funding from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2014

Awarded to initiate a new and impactful research project for creating scuffing resistant aluminum metal matrix nanocomposites.


  • Interrelated Effects of Temperature and Environment on Wear and Tribochemistry of an Ultralow Wear PTFE Composite, H. S. Khare, A. C. Moore, D. R. Haidar, L. Gong, J. Ye, J. F. Rabolt, and D. L. Burris, J. Phys. Chem. C, vol. 119, no. 29, pp. 16518–16527, Jul. 2015.
  • Transfer Film Properties and their Role in Polymer Tribology, J. Ye, D. R. Haidar, and D. L. Burris, The Handbook of Polymer Tribology, in progress
  • Relating wear of polymers and polymer composites to quantitative metrics of transfer film topology, D. R. Haidar, J. Ye, A. C. Moore, and D. L. Burris, in progress
  • A Novel Approach to Impeding Sever Wear of Aluminum using Metal Matrix Nanocomposites: Al6061-Al2O3, D. R. Haidar, E. T. Rezich and D. L. Burris, in progress
  • Implications of Environmental Constituents on Characterization of Polymeric Solid Lubricant Transfer Films, D. R. Haidar, J. Ye, A. C. Moore, and D. L. Burris, in progress

Research Areas


Build precision equipment through design, fabrication, prototyping and interface programming

Solid Mechanics

Investigate failure modes and mechanics of materials


Interfacial phenomena of friction, wear and adhesion

Polymeric Solid Lubricants

Design polymeric solid lubricants to perform with low friction and long lifetime in the absence of external lubrication during operation in extreme environments (e.g. high temperature, dusty, and vacuum)

Metal Matrix Nanocomposites

Creating aluminum-based materials that overcome the sever wear mode of scuffing by using powder metallurgy to embed nanoparticles between aluminum microparticles thus introducing many nanosized points of weakness that compartmentalize any damage incurred during sliding, these aluminum metal matrix nanocomposites (MMNC) could provide a stable sliding interface for lightweight aluminum-steel or aluminum-polymeric solid lubricant bearing systems