Who We Are

MDI 's team back in the facilites in Evanston in spring of 2022.   Pictured L to R: Sarah Schlossberg, Vrishank Menon, Jared Rafferty, Stephen Wilke, Rick Weber,  Mary Doxas.

Our Team

Visiting congress after receiving a 2002 Tibbetts' Award for technology commercialization.    (Pictured L to R: Richard Weber, former Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, Mary Weber, Paul Nordine)


Rick Weber, Founder & President

Rick Weber develops materials processing technologies and high value add materials with a focus on liquids, glasses, and non-equilibrium products. These materials include functional photonic and geological glasses, and organic materials. He has had commercial success with three small businesses as a founder or key staff member. He formed MDI in 2006. Weber also holds an Argonne Associate appointment at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory.

Materials Development, Inc (MDI) is a materials science and R&D engineering company based in Evanston, Illinois. MDI's focus is on containerless processing, both in developing and improving sample environment as well as making and studying novel materials. MDI's team consists of material scientists, physicists, and engineers and frequently collaborates with scientists at Argonne National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, and Brookhaven National Lab, among others.

Prior to forming MDI in 2006, Richard Weber directed the Glass Products Division (GPD) at Containerless Research, Inc. (CRI). This  was commercialized in 2007 when the glass technology was sold.


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Vrishank Menon, Research Assistant

Vrishank joined MDI in 2019 after completing his bachelors degree in Materials Science at Northwestern University.  He is helping to develop new glass and amorphous materials, developing samples for experiments at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), and analyzing date from MDI's ISS experiments on materials in microgravity.  Vrishank is a qualified APS user.

Sarah Schlossberg, Mechanical Designer

Sarah joined MDI in 2019 after performing  postgraduate research in Materials Science at Northwestern University.  She is working on mechanical designs for MDI's instrumentation projects using Solidworks among other tools to implement next generation designs.  Her strong background in materials science helps her to interface with customers to specify requirements for instruments and equipment.  Sarah is a qualified Advanced Photon Source (APS) user and a certified Solidworks Mechanical Designer.

Jared Rafferty, Controls Engineer

Jared joined MDI in 2019 after completing his bachelors degree in Physics at Loyola University.  He is responsible for developing LabVIEW software and electronic hardware  for advanced instruments.  He is working on optimization of acoustic drive system for next generation levitation instruments. He is supporting experiments for research at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) and helping to analyze data from various projects.  Jared is a qualified APS user.

Stephen Wilke, R&D Scientist

Stephen helps to lead experiments using containerless and high-temperature techniques to study structure-property-processing relationships in amorphous and glassy materials. These methods include X-ray and neutron scattering, thermophysical property measurements in microgravity, and molecular modeling. Prior to joining MDI in 2020, Stephen completed a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.  His past research has covered a wide range of materials including applications in energy conversion and storage, thermal management and high temperature redox processes.