For most of her professional life, Prof. Joey Mead has been interested in plastics.
“I took an elective in my senior year at college in polymer science and decided to switch from chemistry to polymers,” she says. “Most of my work at the graduate level, and while at the Army labs, was focused on the mechanical properties of polymer materials, elastomers in particular.”
Mead worked for more than 10 years as a materials engineer at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Watertown prior to coming to UMass Lowell. 
Why UMass Lowell? “I like the applied research and uniqueness of its plastics engineering program,” she says. “It was a natural fit with my interests. I also had worked with many of the University’s faculty through my work at the Army labs.” 
She says she enjoys the opportunity to expand her research interests in new and novel areas. 
“The area of nanomanufacturing is a great fit with my expertise in phase morphology of polymers and mixing of fillers and polymers,” she explains. “I have met many wonderful people through my research and teaching activities. I enjoy teaching graduate students and watching them become independent researchers.” 
Mead currently serves as deputy director of the National Science Foundation NSEC Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing and is also co-director of the Nanomanufacturing Center at UMass Lowell
“I have more than 200 published research papers — more than 50 of them in peer-reviewed journals,” she says. “I have been invited to speak at conferences, and I have an ongoing collaboration with faculty members at Shenkar College in Israel.”
Mead obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1981 and her master’s and doctorate degrees in polymer science in 1984 and 1986, all from MIT.