Lauren Zarzar named Walker Faculty Fellow in materials science and engineering

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lauren Zarzar, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and chemistry, has been named the Virginia S. and Philip L. Walker Jr. Faculty Fellow in Materials Science and Engineering for her contributions to teaching, research and service in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

“I was honored to receive the fellowship,” said Zarzar. “It’s wonderful to receive this support.”

Zarzar’s research focuses on materials at nanometer and micrometer length scales that are both adaptive and responsive in certain environments. In her lab, she explores a multitude of topics including both hard and soft materials, such as direct laser writing of metals and oxides, and the design of responsive hydrogels.

“As a young faculty member it’s always great to receive a fellowship,” said Zarzar. “This fellowship will allow me to support some of my graduate students and purchase equipment that we will be using in the lab.”

Before joining the Penn State faculty in August 2016, Zarzar worked as a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying multi-phase emulsions in which liquid droplets change shape in response to stimuli. This research has implications for areas like drug delivery, medical diagnostics and imaging.

Zarzar received a bachelor of arts in chemistry and a bachelor of science in economics at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a doctorate in chemistry at Harvard University in 2013. In addition, Zarzar has received numerous awards for her research and has co-authored more than a dozen publications.

After earning his doctorate in fuel science from Penn State in 1952 and serving as a professor of materials science for 32 years, eventually being named an Evan Pugh professor of materials science, Philip L. Walker Jr. and his wife, Virginia S. Walker, endowed a professorship to support young faculty members in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in their teaching, research and services efforts to the University and the public.

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Last Updated October 18, 2016