By Malika Jeffries-EL
Professor Jodie Lutkenhaus, a 2018 recipient of the WCC Rising Stars Award, is the William and Ruth Neely Faculty Fellow and an Associate Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Jodie received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After a postdoctoral position with Thomas Russell at University of Massachusetts Amherst, she joined the faculty at Yale University in. In 2010, she moved to Texas A&M University and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015.
Jodie’s research interests focus on developing polymer thin films, coatings, electroactive polymers, polyelectrolytes, and materials for energy storage. Specific applications include stimuli-responsive smart-coatings, corrosion, dielectrics, batteries, and capacitors. Dr. Lutkenhaus also specializes in several analytical characterization techniques including differential scanning calorimetry, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and electrochemistry. Besides the WCC Rising Star Award, Jodie has was received several honors including: World Economic Forum Young Scientist, Kavli Fellow, NSF CAREER, AFSOR YIP, 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award. She served as the Polymers Programming Chair for AICHE (Area 8a) and currently serves as an ACS PMSE Member at Large. She is also an Editorial Advisory Board Member for ACS Macro Letters and Macromolecules and an Editorial Board Member for Scientific Reports.
Jodie says that since an early age she has enjoyed problem solving, and saw engineering as a way to keep doing that. Her family was also a major influence as her mom and dad studied chemistry and physics, respectively. Her older sister, Jessica Winter (WCC Rising Star 2014) also studied chemical engineering. Growing up, science and engineering were always part of the conversation among family. As a child, my hobbies were crossword and logic puzzles, video games, board games, and music which prepared her well for her career path. One challenge she has faced and overcome is that of criticism. In science and engineering, criticism is a part of everyday life, from receiving grades as a student to receiving feedback on your latest project. You just have to remember that the criticism is usually well-intended and the goal is to always improve. It is usually about the work and not about you, so it is important to take it in and forge ahead.