Background and activities

Julian Walker is an Associate Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Functional Materials and Materials Chemistry research group (FACET). Julian is a materials scientist with expertise in the synthesis and characterization of ferroic materials. Currently his core interest is building organic plastic crystals as a novel ferroic material platform.


Julian obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2014, in the group of Prof. Nagarajan Valanoor. He was then a postdoctoral researcher at the Electronic Ceramics Department, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia with Prof. Barbara Malic for two years. Later Julian joined the Materials Research Institute, Pennsylvania State University where he spent two and a half years in the group of Prof. Susan Trolier-McKinstry working with piezoelectric thin film application and innovation, with projects like the development of piezoelectric adjustable optics as a candidate technology for NASA's proposed Lynx telescope.

Research Areas

  • Fundamental composition, structure and property relationships in ferroelectrics
  • Engineering of plastic crystal ferroics
  • Piezoelectric thin films for specialized MEMS applications
  • Lead-free ferroelectrics and multiferroics
  • In situ and advanced electromechanical characterization techniques
  • Sustainable electronics


  • Excellence in Reviewing, Scripta Materiala, 2018
  • Outstanding Reviewer, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, 2018
  • Best Young Researcher award, Piezoresponse Force Microscopy and Nano-scale Phenomena in Polar Materials conference, 2014
  • Australian Postgraduate Award - Industry, University of New South Wales, Australia, 2010-2013