Episode 76: Excuse Our French: Materials Science Goes International

We dive back to a conversation with Dr. Craig Przybyla, a recent AFRL Inspire Speaker, to discuss the Engineering Scientist Exchange Program, why ceramics are a hot topic in aerospace and his work in our AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.


By Justin Hayward, Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Dr. Craig Przybyla guest starred on the Lab Life podcast to discuss the engineering scientist exchange program, the role ceramics have on aerospace technology and his work in the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, or RX.

The Lab Life podcast, hosted by Michele Miller and Kenneth McNulty, focuses on bringing its audience behind the scenes with the Air Force and Space Force scientists, engineers and professionals who are developing tomorrow’s technology today.

Przybyla currently serves as a principal materials engineer and team lead in AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing branch, but his exposure to materials and manufacturing occurred during his sophomore year in college, where at the time he was currently a premed student and one lectured changed everything for him.

“In life, you have these moments that change everything, and so in that class at the end of a lecture, the professor, Dr. Brent Adams got up and introduced the research side of materials and manufacturing. He said, we’ve been talking about materials, and how they’re used in application, but there’s also an aspect of this research related where you can go and look at new discoveries in materials. I’m looking for researchers and, and so if anyone’s interested in this, go ahead, and apply,” said Przybyla.

This moment shaped Przybyla’s career and he applied for the position, and received the position as a undergraduate researcher where he worked on crystallography and automated characterization of metals and metallic systems. Przybyla continued his research with Adams conducting where they conducted his master’s program thesis together before eventually getting accepted to a PhD program at Georgia Tech, through Adams recommendation. Eventually his PhD program brought Przybyla to AFRL where he conducted that last two years of his program at the metals branch of AFRL.

Listen to the full Lab Life podcast episode to learn more about Dr. Craig Przybyla and the Materials and Manufacturing branch or get inspired by watching TEDX style talk from Inspire 2023 titled “Doors are Made to Open.”