Jacob Jones

Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor

STEPS Center Director

Dr. Jacob Jones is a Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Director of the Science and  Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center (www.steps-center.org), Director and Principal Investigator of the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (www.rtnn.org), former Director of the Analytical Instrumentation Facility (www.aif.ncsu.edu), and a University Faculty Scholar.

Jones’ research interests involve developing structure-property-processing relationships in emerging functional materials, primarily through the use of advanced X-ray and neutron scattering tools. Jones has published over 240 papers and delivered over 130 invited lectures on these topics since 2004. Jones is a Fellow of the IEEE Society and the American Ceramic Society and has received numerous awards for his research and education activities, including an NSF CAREER award, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the IEEE Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award, the 2019 NC State Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, the 2016-2017 NC State College of Engineering George H. Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award, a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Defense Program Award of Excellence, and a UF-HHMI Science for Life Distinguished Mentor Award for his mentoring of undergraduate researchers, and two Edward C. Henry “Best Paper” awards from the Electronics Division of the American Ceramic Society.

Jones is known for promoting international science and engineering initiatives. He has been Principal Investigator on three NSF awards to provide international research experiences to U.S. students at foreign research laboratories. Using these programs, Jones has enabled over 50 U.S. students to obtain international research experiences overseas and has hosted a multitude of foreign students at U.S. institutions. Since 2012, he has been a Senior Visiting Fellow in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales. At NC State, he is engaged in the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN) and promotes interactions with the University of Surrey in the U.K. and the University of Wollongong in Australia. In recognition of his international activities, Jones received the International Educator of the Year award (Senior Faculty Awardee) from the University of Florida International Center in 2012.

Jones participates and leads many interdisciplinary teams and projects on topics including nanotechnology, crystallography, functional materials in environmental applications, water sustainability, and healthcare. Many of these interdisciplinary collaborations utilize the suite of analytical tools and in situ capabilities available within the Analytical Instrumentation Facility. Representative projects include collaborations with statisticians and mathematicians in applying Bayesian inference to crystallographic structure refinement and the use of nanotechnology and materials science in environmental remediation and water treatment. As a representative example of the latter, from 2017-2019, Jones led an interdisciplinary project through the highly competitive Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP) at NC State on the topic “Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology: Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the Solid-Water Interface team.”,” which helped to seed the STEPS Center. 

Jones is an elected member of the Research Leadership Academy at NC State, the faculty-driven epicenter of research leadership and faculty mentoring to enhance NC State’s research culture, and has interdisciplinary leadership training in Team Science.

Jones received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2004, after which he completed an international postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of MSE at the University of Florida from 2006-2013 and joined NC State in August of 2013.

Dr. Jones’s research interests include functional materials such as piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials, materials for phosphorus recovery, nanomaterials, mechanics of materials, and the promotion of international science and engineering.

Visit the Jones Research Group website at https://www.mse.ncsu.edu/jones.


Ph.D. 2004

Materials Engineering

Purdue University

M.S. 2001

Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University

B.S. 1999

Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University

Honors and Awards

  • R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Extension, 2020
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, 2019
  • Fellow, IEEE Society, 2020
  • Outstanding Materials Engineer Award, School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 2020
  • NC State College of Engineering George H. Blessis Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Award, 2017
  • Fellow, American Ceramic Society, 2015
  • International Educator of the Year, University of Florida, 2012
  • HHMI Science for Life Distinguished Mentor Award, University of Florida, 2012
  • IEEE Ferroelectrics Young Investigator Award, 2011
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2008
  • National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Defense Program Award of Excellence, 2009
  • NSF CAREER award, 2008
  • Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, 2009


Many routes to ferroelectric HfO2: A review of current deposition methods
Hsain, H. A., Lee, Y., Materano, M., Mittmann, T., Payne, A., Mikolajick, T., … Jones, J. L. (2022). [Review of , ]. JOURNAL OF VACUUM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY A. https://doi.org/10.1116/6.0001317
Mechanisms of orthophosphate removal from water by lanthanum carbonate and other lanthanum-containing materials
Zhi, Y., Paterson, A. R., Call, D. F., Jones, J. L., Hesterberg, D., Duckworth, O. W., … Knappe, D. R. U. (2022), SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153153
Phase coexistence and grain size effects on the functional properties of BaTiO3 ceramics
Lukacs, V. A., Airimioaei, M., Padurariu, L., Curecheriu, L. P., Ciomaga, C. E., Bencan, A., … Mitoseriu, L. (2022), JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2021.12.024
Renaissance of Topotactic Ion-Exchange for Functional Solids with Close Packed Structures
Gabilondo, E., O'Donnell, S., Newell, R., Broughton, R., Mateus, M., Jones, J. L., & Maggard, P. A. (2022, April 21), CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL. https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.202200479
Temperature dependent local structure coherence of surface-modified BaTiO3 nanocubes
Jiang, B., Zhao, C., Metz, P. C., Jothi, P. R., Kavey, B., Reven, L., … Page, K. (2022, April 25), JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY C. https://doi.org/10.1039/d2tc00477a
Deformation mechanisms in ice-templated alumina-epoxy composites for the different directions of uniaxial compressive loading
Akurati, S., Jansson, A., Jones, J. L., & Ghosh, D. (2021), MATERIALIA. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mtla.2021.101054
Domains and domain dynamics in fluorite-structured ferroelectrics
Lee, D. H., Lee, Y., Yang, K., Park, J. Y., Kim, S. H., Reddy, P. R. S., … Park, M. H. (2021). [Review of , ]. APPLIED PHYSICS REVIEWS. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0047977
Effect of ferroelectric and interface films on the tunneling electroresistance of the Al2O3/Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 based ferroelectric tunnel junctions
Shekhawat, A., Hsain, H. A., Lee, Y., Jones, J. L., & Moghaddam, S. (2021), NANOTECHNOLOGY. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/ac1ebe
Fracture and electric-field-induced crack growth behavior in NBT-6BT relaxor ferroelectrics
Shi, Xi, Kumar, N., Jones, J. L., & Hoffman, M. (2021), JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY. https://doi.org/10.1111/jace.17625
Functional Gels Containing Hydroxamic Acid Degrade Organophosphates in Aqueous Solutions
Zboray, S., Efimenko, K., Jones, J. L., & Genzer, J. (2021), INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.1c01374

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Cellulose Ester Solutions
Eastman Chemical Company(5/01/21 - 10/30/21)
NNCI: North Carolina Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN)
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/20 - 8/31/25)
MRI: Acquisition of Plasma Multi-ion-source Focused Ion Beam Microscope
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/15/20 - 6/30/21)
Development of an In-Situ Testing Laboratory for Research and Education of Very High Temperature Reactor Materials
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/20 - 3/31/22)
Pushing the Boundaries of Kinetic Stability in Metastable Perovskite Oxides
National Science Foundation (NSF)(6/01/20 - 5/31/23)
Materials and Process Options for HfO2 Capacitors, Sensors, and Ferroelectrics on Unique Substrates, CDP Core Project
NCSU Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP)(7/01/19 - 6/30/22)
Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS) Center
National Science Foundation (NSF)(10/01/21 - 9/30/26)
RET Site: Atomic Scale Design and Engineering
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/19 - 4/30/23)
IRES Track I: Sustainable Materials Development
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/19 - 7/31/22)
Phase II IUCRC North Carolina State University: Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics
National Science Foundation (NSF)(3/01/19 - 2/29/24)