Research by Shadi Nazarian has resulted in innovative seamless/transitioning interface between various materials. A provisional patent was submitted last year, when Nazarian and her collaborators executed the proof of concept and achieved a compositional, functional, structural, and optical gradience using casting and kiln forming processes.
Nazarian is an associate professor of architecture, a member of Material Matters Research Cluster, affiliated with research partners in Design Computing Cluster (SCDC), Material Research Institute (MRI), as well as Material Science and Engineering, Architectural Engineering, and Civil and Environmental engineering. Since January of 2012, when Shadi Nazarian started teaching at Penn State's Department of Architecture, her work has been recognized and supported through multiple internal and external peer reviewed grants, including the H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman Collaborative Design Research Endowment Grant; College of Arts and Architecture Incentives and Innovations grant; the Bowers Program for Excellence in Design and Construction of the Built Environment in support of the collaborative project (two consecutive years); as well as the research funds from the Materials Research Institute (MRI); and the Penn State Institute of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE).
Nazarian's collaborative research technology presents numerous advantages, including the use of recycled materials, environmentally friendly processes, sustainable practices, and overall reduction in embodied and operational energy, and above all new ways of joining disparate but related composite building materials such as concrete, glass, and advanced structural ceramics. Together with her partners they plan to design and engineer other composite materials in the coming months; repeat previous experiments (that have already been proven to work using casting and kiln forming techniques), now using 3D printing technology; scaling up to architectural scale (developing building fragments); and finally a small monocoque shelter by next year.
Nazarian's technology – Seamless Ceramic–Glass Architectural Joints – was nominated by Bradley Swope, senior technology licensing officer, Research Technology Transfer, Penn State Intellectual Property Office, and selected for publication in the Invent Penn State Innovation Guide. The research and materials also were featured at the inaugural Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference in October 2016.