University of Texas at Austin

Don Siegel

Core Faculty GSC Faculty

2 Cockrell Family Chair for Departmental Leadership #4

Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship #4

Department Chair Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests

Computational Materials Machine Learning


Don Siegel is Professor and Chair of the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). At UT he holds the Temple Foundation Endowed Professorship #4 and the Cockrell Family Chair for Departmental Leadership #4. He is a Core Faculty Member in the Texas Materials Institute and in the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. Prior to joining UT Austin in 2021, Prof. Siegel spent 12 years as a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM), with courtesy appointments in Materials Science & Engineering and in Applied Physics. His research targets the development of energy storage materials and lightweight alloys, primarily for applications in the transportation sector. Prior to joining UM, he was a Technical Expert at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. Prof. Siegel has authored more than 100 publications, delivered approximately 110 invited lectures, and has been awarded several patents related to energy storage. He is a recipient of the NSF Career Award, U.S. Department of Energy-Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award, and an NAE Gilbreth Lectureship. Prof. Siegel has been active in providing input to the U.S. Department of Energy on issues related to energy storage, having served as co-Chair for the FreedomCAR Hydrogen Storage Technical Team, a Reviewer for the Hydrogen and Vehicle Technologies Program, and as a member of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) Directorate. A physicist by training, Prof. Siegel received a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His postdoctoral training was performed at Sandia National Laboratories and at the U.S. Naval Research Lab. During the 2015-2016 academic year he was a VELUX Visiting Professor in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage at the Technical University of Denmark.

Prof. Siegel is a computational materials scientist whose research emphasizes modeling at the atomic scale. His group employs techniques ranging from electronic structure methods (Density Functional Theory), to classical approaches, such as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics, to predict the thermodynamic, kinetic, mechanical, and transport properties of materials. These techniques are applied to materials of relevance for the transportation and energy sectors. Areas of interest have included: energy storage, CO2 capture & gas storage (H2 and natural gas), and metallic alloys. The primary research objectives are to characterize materials phenomena that are not easily measured using conventional experimental techniques, and to discover new materials with enhanced properties via in silico screening and machine learning.

Dr. Siegel has been awarded the E. & M. Ulsoy Citation Leader Award in 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy and Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award in 2018, the VELUX Visiting Professor award from the Technical University of Denmark in 2015, the NAE Gilbreth Lecturer award in 2014 and the NSF CAREER Award in 2013.