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Paula T. Hammond '84, PhD '93

Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, 2015 -present
David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, 2011 - present

Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, 2015 -present
David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, 2011 - present

Paula T. Hammond ’84, PhD ’93
Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, 2015 - present
David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, 2011 - present

Paula Hammond is the David H. Koch professor in engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the Head of the Department of Engineering. Her research focuses on the study and development of new materials, based on the molecular design and synthesis of self-assembling polymers. Professor Hammond’s numerous awards include the National Science Foundation S Career Award, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Early Career Award, the DuPont Young Faculty Award, and the 3M Innovation Fund Award. The Harvard Foundation named Professor Hammond the 2010 Scientist of the Year. She has been a key research participant in both the MIT Energy Initiative, or MITEI, and the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer research at MIT. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) at MIT. Professor Hammond received an SB in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1984, a Master’s degree from Georgia Tech in 1988, and a PhD from MIT in 1993. She joined the MIT faculty in 1995.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Early years and her growing interest in chemistry and chemical engineering as an MIT undergraduate.
  • Working in industry, followed by the transition to a graduate education in MIT’s polymer science department.
  • Her research on thin films and its range of applications.
  • Involvement in creating collaborations such as the ISN and MITEI.
  • How the diversity and global impact of MIT has changed throughout her years and roles at the Institutes.

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