Dr. Kaka Ma

Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Contact Information
Office Location: Engineering A103A/MERC: Annex 108
Phone: 970-491-3886
Fax: (970)491-3872
Email: kaka.ma@colostate.edu
Personal website: http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~kkma/

Before joining Colorado State University as an assistant professor in August, 2016, Dr. Kaka Ma was an assistant project scientist at University of California, Irvine. She earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from University of California, Davis in December, 2010, and continued her postdoctoral research at UC Davis during January, 2011 to November, 2015. She was also a lecturer for an upper-level undergraduate course, Materials in Engineering Design, at UC Davis from April, 2014 to June, 2015. Dr. Ma received her B.S. in materials physics from University of Science and Technology of China in June, 2006.

Dr. Ma’s research interests sit at the interface of materials science, mechanical engineering and sustainability.We are interested in fabrication and characterization of advanced materials that contain nanoscale microstructural features for high performance such as high specific strength, high ductility, improved reliability and lifetime. We perform mechanical testing at small scales and in localized regions such as boundaries and interface in the materials using cutting-edge nanoindentation technique. The objective is to uncover new processing-structure-properties correlation in advanced nanomaterials for next-generation structural, electronic, and energy components. Her recent research activities focus on multiscale hierarchical structured materials, functionally graded materials, low-work-function electrode materials, additive manufacturing (AM) and sustainability issues associated with metal AM.

Dr. Ma is a member of TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society) and serves on the reviewer board for several international circulated journals including Nature Communications, Materials Science & Engineering A, Journal of Materials Science, etc. In her spare time, Dr. Ma enjoys spending time with her family doing outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming.

Links to Other Information

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Honors and Awards
  • Classes taught (89 listed)


  • B.S. 2006, University of Science and Technology of China – Materials Physics
  • Ph.D. 2010, University of California, Davis – Materials Science and Engineering