Materials preparation and structure/properties relationships in polymer nanocomposites, polymer crosslinking and network formation, pre-ceramic polymers, sol-gel chemistry and materials analysis (porosimetry, permeation testing, thermal analysis, x-ray diffraction & spectroscopic techniques)
Nanostructured polymers and hybrids, polymer networks and porous materials, their analysis and application, and the chemical reactions that allow for the (trans)formation of such materials, with a strong preference for benign / sustainable solutions.
B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
B.S. in Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University
Dr. Schmidt grew up in Savannah, Georgia, where, during high school, he discovered his love for chemistry.
At Carnegie Mellon University he was an undergraduate researcher with the CMU Buckyball Project, and performed research on sol-gel derived metal-ceramic composites for magnetic recording media. He graduated with University Honors and simultaneous Bachelor's degrees in Materials Science & Engineering and Chemistry.
At Cornell University he joined the group of Dr. Emmanuel P. Giannelis, where he performed doctoral work on polysiloxane / layered silicate nanocomposites, as well as more general nanocomposite work and also some sol-gel chemistry.
He then accepted a post-doctoral position with BASF AG and moved to Strasbourg, France to become one of the first members of the newly formed BASF research group located in Nobel Laureate Jean-Marie Lehn's Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS). There, from 2003 to 2005, he developed a range of strategies for the production of nanoporous materials for thermal insulation, and generated a number of patents.
In 2005 he joined the Plastics Engineering faculty at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Here, his research concerns polymer nanocomposites, sol-gel derived networks (responsive hydrogels, tissue engineering scaffolds), pre-ceramic polymers and sustainable materials (plant-derived plasticizers and alternative epoxy resins). In 2009 he was honored as the first recipient of the Mark and Elisia Saab Endowed Professorship in Sustainable Plastics Engineering, and in 2011 he was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. His regular course offerings cover polymer science (junior level, lecture and lab) and polymer nanocomposites (graduate level lectures).