Skip to main content

John Ballato

John BallatoProfessor of Materials Science and Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Ph.D. - 1997, Rutgers, the State University of New JerseyCeramic and Materials Engineering
B.S. - 1993, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Ceramic Science and Engineering

Contact Information:
Office: 91 Technology Drive
Phone: 864.656.1035

John Ballato is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of COMSET, which is a South Carolina Research Center of Economic Excellence. Previously, Dr. Ballato served as the interim Vice President for Research.

Dr. Ballato earned a B.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering (1993) and a Ph.D. in Ceramic and Materials Engineering (1997) from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Ballato has published more than 200 archival scientific papers, holds 25 U.S. and foreign patents, has given in excess of 125 invited lectures/colloquia, and has co-organized 25 national and international conferences and symposia.

Dr. Ballato has received the Kreidl Award (ACerS, 1997), the Robert Lansing Hardy Award (TMS, 2003), the Robert L. Coble Award (ACerS 2004), and the Schwartzwalder-PACE Award (NICE 2004) “in recognition of the nation’s outstanding young ceramic engineer whose achievements have been significant to the profession and the general welfare of the American people.” Dr. Ballato also has been a traveling lecturer for the International Commission on Optics (2002). Dr. Ballato was chosen as a Liberty Fellow (2005). The Liberty Fellowship is a statewide leadership program that identifies future South Carolina leaders and trains them in value-based leadership. Dr. Ballato’s mentor is the Honorable David Wilkins; former U.S. Ambassador to Canada. In 2006, Dr. Ballato was honored as the distinguished young alumni for Rutgers University’s Graduate School and also was selected as the faculty representative on the Clemson University Board of Trustees. In 2009, he received the Medal of Excellence for Alumni Achievement in Academia from the Rutgers University School of Engineering and was named a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America. In 2010, Dr. Ballato received the Fulrath Award from the American Ceramic Society and was elevated to the rank of Fellow of the SPIE (Class of 2011).

Dr. Ballato has been a Principal Investigator (PI) on more than $34 million worth of sponsored programs, gifts and contracts. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society and is an active participant on the “Optoelectronic Glasses,” technical committee for the International Commission on Glass as well as the Ferroelectrics Standards Committee of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society. His Erdös number is 4 and Einstein number is 5.

Dr. Ballato’s research focuses on new optical materials and structures for high-value photonic and optoelectronic applications. This includes light-emitting nanoparticles for transparent ceramics, lighting, and sensing applications. Additionally, Dr. Ballato’s group develops specialty optical fibers for high energy laser, biomedical, and industrial uses. His innovations have led to a number of important advances including:

  • the powder-in-tube method for directly fabricating optical fibers from unstable or unusual compositions.
  • Record Faraday rotation in a fiberizable aluminosilicate glass.
  • hole-blocking in carbon nanotubes nanocomposite organic light-emitting diodes.
  • High efficiency and high gain rare-earth-doped polymer nanocomposites
  • First ultra-large mode area optical fibers utilizing the index antiguiding gain-guiding phenomenon.
  • First core/multi-shell doped nanoparticles that can control the energy transfer between dopants.
  • Simple formalism to make a slow light structure from a wider variety of commodity materials.
  • First fabrication of sub-wavelength grain-sized highly-transparent sesquioxide ceramics.
  • First to use scalable manufacturing processes to fabricate highly crystalline semiconductor (Si and Ge) core optical fibers.