2009 Texas Tech Integrated Scholar
Paul Whitfield Horn Professor; Department of Chemical Engineering
"You have to get the research funds, so that you can run your lab, so that you can publish papers. I think it’s a little bit harder to get that part going as a young faculty member. The thing is to get people to mentor you, so I’ve mentored a few people here. I think that benefits the young people a lot if somebody else reads their proposals and gives them some feedback."
What is your research objective/interest(s)?
My research interests include the physics of glasses, cure and properties of thermosetting materials, and polymerization under nanoconfinement.
How do you feel your research impacts the globe?
Much of my research deals with fundamental issues related to structure/property relationships and durability in polymeric materials. For example, our viscoelastic bulk modulus measurements facilitate better prediction of residual stresses in aerospace composites during cure and thermal cycling.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am inspired by the promise of making significant contributions to the solution of challenging problems in my field.
What type(s) of service projects do you enjoy doing?
With respect to service, I enjoy organizing conferences and doing outreach projects.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently organizing a session for the 2011 North American Thermal Analysis Society meeting on thermosetting materials, to be held in the fall, and I will act as Technical Program Chair for the 2012 meeting. In addition, along with other faculty in Chemical Engineering, I am organizing a session on plastics for the TTU Ideal Program, Science—It's a Girl Thing.
What advice do you have for new faculty members on balancing the components of an integrated scholar into their careers (academics, research and service)?
Balancing teaching, research and service is difficult for young faculty. They are all important, and they all take time to excel at. My advice to new faculty would be to take workshops on teaching, to follow your passions with respect to research, to ask senior faculty to give you critical feedback on proposals and to focus external service in areas that allow you to network in your field.
- Educational Background: B.S. Yale (1983), Ph.D. Princeton (1992) (both in chemical engineering)
- Hometown: Wichita, KS