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Veerle M. Keppens

Chancellor's Professor, Department Head


Dr. Keppens earned her bachelor’s degree (1989) and Ph.D. (1995) in Physics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). Her dissertation research included the study of the anomalous properties of disordered solids at low temperatures. From 1995 to 1998, Dr. Keppens was a Fulbright fellow in the novel materials group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she became interested in the elastic properties of new materials. In 1998 she received a Humboldt-fellowship to do research at the Institut fuer angewandte Physik in Heidelberg.  In 1999, Dr. Keppens joined the faculty in the Physics Department at The University of Mississippi. There she taught courses in introductory physics and modern physics, and set-up a laboratory for Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy. In 2003, Dr. Keppens joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee, where she continues to study the elastic properties and lattice dynamics of novel materials. Dr. Keppens has authored or co-authored over 50 technical papers and has contributed to over 70 (15 invited) technical presentations at national and international conferences.


  • Elastic constants and lattice dynamics of novel materials, including transition metal oxides
  • frustrated magnets and spin glasses
  • thermoelectric materials


Ph.D., K.U. Leuven (Belgium): Materials Physics and Physical Acoustics; elastic properties and lattice dynamics of novel materials

Professional Service

  • APS Member
  • ASA member
  • ASM member

Awards and Recognitions

2017 UT Angie Warren Perkins Award

2011 Fellow, Acoustical Society of America

2011 Faculty award for excellence in research, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

2009 College of Engineering Research Fellow

2009 Outstanding service award, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

2007 University of Tennessee Chancellor’s award for professional promise in research and creative achievement

2005 University of Tennessee Dept. Materials Science and Engineering Outstanding Young Faculty Researcher Award

1998 Alexander von Humboldt fellowship

1995-1996 Fulbright-Hays fellowship


  1. Structural and magnetic properties of Tb6Fe1-xCoxBi2 (x=0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.375) compounds, L.Jia, M. Koehler, D. McCarthy, M. McGuire and V. Keppens, Journal of Applied Physics 109, 07E331 (2011).
  2. Elastic moduli and magnetostriction of Tb6CoxFe1-x(Bi,Sb)2 (0 = x = 0.375), M. Koehler, L. Jia, D. McCarthy, and V. Keppens, Journal of Applied Physics 109, 07A918 (2011).
  3. Effects of Nematic Fluctuations on the elastic properties of Iron Arsenide superconductors,Rafael M. Fernandes, Lindsay H. VanBebber, Shobo Bhattacharya, Premala Chandra, Veerle Keppens, David Mandrus, Michael A. McGuire, Brian C. Sales, Athena S. Sefat, and Joerg Schmalian, Physical Review Letters 105, 157003 (2010).
  4. Elastic moduli of superhard rhenium diboride, M. Koehler, V. Keppens, R. Jin, B.C. Sales, and D. Mandrus,  Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 42,  095414 (2009).
  5. Phase transitions in LaFeAsO: Structural, magnetic, elastic, and transport properties, heat capacity and MÖssbauer spectra, Michael A. McGuire, Andrew D. Christianson, Athena S. Sefat, Brian C. Sales, Mark D. Lumsden, Rongying Jin, E. Andrew Payzant, David Mandrus, Yanbing Luan , Veerle Keppens, Vijayalaksmi Varadarajan, Joseph W. Brill, Raphaël P. Hermann, Moulay T. Sougrati and Fernande Grandjean, and Gary J. Long, Physical Review B 78, 094517 (2008).
  6. Dumbbell Rattling in Thermoelectric Zinc Antimony, W. Schweika, R. P. Hermann, M. Prager, J. PerBon, and V. Keppens, Physical Review Letters, 98, 15501 (2007).
  7. Glass transition in metallic glasses: A microscopic model of topological fluctuations in the bonding network, T. Egami, S. J. Poon, Z. Zhang, and V. Keppens, Physical Review B, 76, 024203  (2007).
  8. Direct Experimental Evidence for Atomic Tunneling of Europium in Crystalline Eu8Ga16Ge30,R.P. Hermann, V. Keppens, P. Bonville, G.S. Nolas, F. Grandjean, G.J. Long, H.M. Christen, B.C. Chakoumakos, B.C. Sales, and D. Mandrus, Physical Review Letters 97, 017401 (2006).
  9. Four-well tunneling states and elastic response of clathrates,  I. Zerec, V. Keppens, M. McGuire, D. Mandrus, B. C. Sales, and P. Thalmeier, Physical Review Letters 92, 185502 (2004).
  10. Metallic “Ferroelectricity” in the Pyrochlore Cd2Re2O7 ,  I. A. Sergienko, V. Keppens, M. McGuire, R. Jin, J. He, S. H. Curnoe, B. C. Sales, P. Blaha, D. J. Singh, K. Schwarz, and D. Mandrus, Physical Review Letters 92, 065501 (2004).

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