Mike Chung

Research with Impact

From developing NanoJackets, an innovative drug delivery device that infiltrates tumors to deliver cancer therapies, to exploring the impact of a changing climate on the Earth’s ecosystems, researchers in Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences are exploring new frontiers and tackling the top scientific challenges in the earth, energy, and materials sciences and engineering.


Penn State is a premier research institution and faculty in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences work side-by-side with both graduate and undergraduate students in active and original scholarly inquiry. For example:

  • We are developing enhanced recovery techniques for petroleum and gas reservoirs.
  • We are conducting research with drones.
  • We are pioneering approaches to cancer therapy, which rely on advances in nanotechnology to infiltrate tumors and deliver a therapeutic agent.
  • We are investigating the social-ecological interactions of agriculture and food security.
  • We are developing new computational methodologies and cyberinfrastructure solutions for the analysis of geospatial 'big data.'
  • We are studying study of the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere.

Our research impacts the world!

Paul F. Robertson Award for EMS Research Breakthrough of the Year

The Paul F. Robertson Award for the EMS Research Breakthrough of the Year was created in 2012 with support from a generous gift by EMS alumnus Paul F. Robertson. The award recognizes research achievements over the previous year. View videos below showcasing award winners.

Transparent metal films

A new material that is both highly transparent and electrically conductive could make large screen displays, smart windows and even touch screens and solar cells more affordable and efficient, according to a team led by Roman Engel-Herbert who discovered it.

Cold Sintering

Researchers in Penn State's Materials Research Institute, led by Clive Randall, recently discovered a process that could revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Known as cold sintering, the process could be used for developing materials we use every day, such as bricks and glass, at a much lower energy cost than the process used today.


Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences at Penn State, and an international team developed a machine learning algorithm that can identify leaf images into their biological families.

The Geology and Geophysics of Slow Earthquakes

Don Fisher, Chris Marone, and Demian Saffer were awarded the 2104 Paul F. Robertson Award for Research Breakthrough of the Year.

Inspiring Research: James Adair

ames Adair and his team at Penn State are transforming the way we treat and detect cancer through their nanoscience research with a new drug delivery and imaging system utilizing nanojackets. Changing the way that drugs are delivered to cancer patients, reducing the impact on patients and their families.