Chantal Sudbrack, Ph.D.

Senior Materials Development Engineer


Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2004

B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Columbia University, 1999

B.A. Chemistry, Reed College, 1999

Current Role at QuesTek

Chantal Sudbrack, Ph.D., specializes in alloy development strategies, environmental damage mechanisms, processing relationships, and microstructural predications with CALPHAD-based software for structural alloys that are conventionally or additively manufactured.  As a Senior Materials Development Engineer, her work focuses on successful awards, proactive execution and metallurgical guidance for materials development activities under QuesTek’s programs with government agencies, research institutions, and industry.  

Background and Specialization

Before joining QuesTek in 2018, Dr. Sudbrack spent eight years as a researcher with the High Temperature and Smart Alloys Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, concentrating on nickel-based superalloys used in turbomachinery for aerospace applications. She led teams, collaborated across agencies, presented research results, published, mentored students and gained broad hands-on laboratory experience, including with heat treatment, metallic powders, advanced microstructural characterization, and mechanical testing. Prior to NASA, she held post-doctoral positions in magnetic tunnel junctions and shape memory alloys research with Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University that leveraged her expertise in atom-probe tomography (APT). Her doctoral research uncovered new mechanisms driving early-stage coagulation and coalescence in the solid-state by comparing APT 3D reconstruction data with lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, and also involved precise compositional measurements to establish  capillary effects within nanometer-sized precipitates. The latter has been used for thermodynamic database development and benchmarking precipitation models by government, industry and academic professionals. Her Ph.D. thesis is entitled: “Decomposition behavior in model Ni-Al-Cr-X superalloys: Temporal evolution and compositional pathways on a nanoscale.”

Honors, Awards and Patents

Her honors and awards include receiving: Northwestern University MS&E Alumni Early Career Achievement (2017), TMS Young Leader Award (2006), Microscopy Society of America Presidential Student Award (2002), NSF Graduate Student Fellowship (2000-2003), and Columbia University Francis Rhodes Prize (1999)

Professional Associations

She actively participates in professional associations, including:

  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)
  • TMS High Temperature Alloys Committee – JOM guest editor (2013-2017)
  • ASM International
  • Organizing Committee (2018), 9th International Symposium on Superalloy 718 and Derivatives: Energy, Aerospace & Industrial Applications 

Publications and Presentations

She is the author of over 45 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings and NASA technical reports and has provided more than a dozen invited talks at conferences, workshops, professional associations, government laboratories and universities.