Vincent Sokalski obtained his B.S. in materials science and engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, followed by M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009 and 2011, also in materials science and engineering. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at CMU working on spin devices for low-power memory and electronics. He joined the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University in September of 2013, where his research is focused on emerging phenomena in nanoscale magnetic and spintronic materials. He is chair of the Pittsburgh chapter of the IEEE magnetics society.

In 2022, Sokalski was appointed to a newly established position within the department, Director of Student Inclusion & Community. In this role, he focuses on engaging with students outside of the classroom to blend social and educational activities. He also chairs the MSE department committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion and serves on the College of Engineering committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sokalski’s research is on emerging phenomena in magnetic thin films for future computing applications. With a rapidly growing demand for computational energy, there is a pressing need for new materials and schemes to improve efficiency even if the concepts are radically different from existing technology. A new magnetic interaction has come to the forefront of physics in recent years called the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, which stabilizes exotic magnetic features called skyrmions. These features can be manipulated by electric current with unprecedented efficiency making them promising candidates for future computer memory. His group is examining new materials using combinatorial approaches to stabilize different kinds of skyrmions and examine their properties. They make use of various magnetic characterization and imaging techniques including high resolution Lorentz transmission electron microscopy housed in MSE’s materials characterization suite.

3315 Wean Hall
Marygrace Antkowski
Google Scholar
Vincent Sokalski

Behind the Researcher: Professor to Pickleball with Vincent Sokalski

Improving Computer Memory Using Spintronics


2011 Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

2009 MS, Materials Science & Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

2007 BS, Materials Science & Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Media mentions

Materials Science and Engineering

Undergraduate Research Makes a Full Court Press

An undergraduate materials science and engineering team used their capstone project as an opportunity to demonstrate an affordable solution to making lines on multi-sport courts less confusing.

CMU Engineering

Human connections

Recent Engineering graduate Maya Garg discusses her experience as a volunteer tutor for incarcerated people in Allegheny County.

Materials Science and Engineering

Sokalski named Director of Student Inclusion & Community

In this new role, Sokalski will be even more focused on engaging with students outside of the classroom to blend social and educational activities.

Materials Science and Engineering

MSE faculty receive grant for AMPED Consortium

McHenry, Sokalski receive planning grant for Advanced Magnetics for Power and Energy Development (AMPED) Consortium.

CMU Engineering

Magnetic symmetry is not just like looking in a mirror

Vincent Sokalski and Michael Kitcher have uncovered the quantitative explanation for magnetic symmetry breaking during domain wall motion, a contribution to the fundamental physics of technology needed to build faster computers.

2021 Engineering faculty award winners selected

Congratulations to the 2021 CMU Engineering Faculty Awards winners.

Engineering faculty named Provost’s Inclusive Teaching Fellows

Congratulations to EPP’s Daniel Armanios, CEE’s Sarah Christian and David Rounce, INI’s Hanan Hibshi, and MSE’s Vincent Sokalski on being selected as 2021-2022 Provost’s Inclusive Teaching Fellows at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation.

Materials Science and Engineering

MSE researchers win best poster

MSE Ph.D. student Nisrit Pandey and recent Ph.D. graduate Maxwell Li won first place in The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society poster competition. Their advisors are MSE’s Marc De Graef and Vincent Sokalski.

CMU Engineering

Revolutionizing computer memory—with magnets

Within two decades, the global demand for energy will outweigh the total produced. Vincent Sokalski is solving this problem using magnetic materials for energy-efficient memory and computing.

Sokalski discovers connection between negative stiffness and magnetism

MSE’s Vincent Sokalski and his Ph.D. students recently discovered that negative stiffness governs how the domain wall moves in ultrathin magnets.

CMU Engineering

The future of computer memory

The Data Systems Storage Center, in conjunction with the Departments of MSE and ECE recently hosted the 16th Annual IEEE Non-volatile Memory Technology Symposium (NVMTS) at Carnegie Mellon University.

CMU Engineering

Department news

The initiatives underway in the College’s departments embody the value we place on progress. Here are some of our current projects and prides.