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Linda S. Schadler


Department Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Materials Science and Engineering
B.S., Cornell University
Materials Science and Engineering

Professional Background:
Professor Schadler received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania. She held a post-doctoral research position at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center from 1990-1992 and joined the faculty at Drexel University in 1992 as an assistant professor. While at Drexel she received a National Young Investigator Award. She joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1996.


Professor Schadler is an experimentalist and her research has focused on the micromechanical behavior of two-phase systems, primarily polymer composites. Currently, her research group focuses on creating hierarchically structured polymer nanocomposites with multifunctional properties (such as transparent conducting coatings). The hierarchical structure is tailored at 3 scales: the nanofiller interface, organization of nanofillers, and macroscopic patterning. Her group is investigating the mechanical, tribological, electrical, and optical properties of these materials. The interdisciplinary nature of the work requires collaborations with faculty at Rensselaer and around the world, and many students spend weeks or months gaining experience at other institutions. Dr. Schadler also has a focus on education and outreach and is the education and outreach coordinator for the National Science Foundation's Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures headquartered at Rensselaer. As part of that position, she was one of the executive producers for the Molecularium, a new style of planetarium show that takes the audience (primarily students in K-5) on a magical musical adventure into the world of atoms and molecules with the help of oxy, hydro and hydra (www.molecularium.com ). Children learn that "everything is made of atoms and molecules" and about the three states of matter "solids slow, liquids flow, gas is fast!"

General Areas of Research:
· Fuel Cells
· Interactive Learning
· Composite Materials
· Advanced Materials
· Nanotechnology
· Polymers

Research Summary:

This project, “Hierarchical Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube – Carbon Fiber / Epoxy composites,” focused on introducing carbon nanotubes into the resin of a traditional carbon fiber composite.  The initial work showed 30% improvements in flexural modulus and strength due to 1 weight percent  multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT).  This lead to a small commercial trial in which an external vendor processed prepreg with both MWNT and carbon nanofibers (a bit bigger in diameter and much cheaper).  The improvements in flexural properties were not present in these materials, but there was a several order of magnitude improvement in through thickness conductivity without decreasing the mechanical properties.  In addition, several reasons for the lack of improvement in mechanical properties were identified including poor wetting of the fibers by the nanofilled resin.  These materials may have application in aircraft skin or other applications requiring through thickness conductivity of composites.  The major conclusions were:

  • The addition of nanoscale fillers into the resin can improve the through thickness conductivity substantially without reducing the composite flexural properties and in some cases providing small increases. 
  • There is room for improved mechanical properties through better resin penetration.
  • There are potential applications for these materials in aircraft skins

Selected Publications:

  • Plug Power
    “Stress Relaxation of PBI Based Membrane Electrode Assemblies,” A. Suvorov, J. Elter, R. Staudt, R. Hamm, L. S. Schadler, G. Eisman, submitted to International Journal of Solids and Structures (2007).
  • Albany International
    “Crystal Growth in Alumina/Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Nanocomposite Films,” Hoichang Yang, Praveen Bhimaraj, Richard W. Siegel, and Linda S. Schadler, Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics in press (2007).
  • “Increase in Ross Flex Life of Polyurethane Elastomer with the Addition of Montmorillonite Clays,” Chris Calebrese, Linda Schadler, Rahmi Ozisik, Nancy Eichenlaub, submitted to J. Nanostructures and Nanoparticles (2007)
  • “Effect of nanoparticles on the nucleation and growth of polymer crystals,” Praveen Bhimaraj, Hoichang Yang, Richard W. Siegel, Linda S. Schadler, submitted to J. Applied Polymer Science, in press (2007).

Past Industrial Projects:

  • Albany International – Mechanical Behavior of Polymer Nanocomposites
  • 2006-2007 – Plug Power – Mechanical Properties of Membrane Materials

Honors and Awards:

  • Fellow, ASM International, 2006
  • Rensselaer School of Engineering Research Award, 2004
  • Member, National Materials Advisory Board, 2002 - 2008
  • Member, TMS Strategic Planning Advisory Board, 2001 - 2005
  • Geisler Award, Awarded by the local ASM chapter honoring a young Materials Engineer, 2000.
  • Louis C. Ianneillo Graduation Prize (awarded by the Seniors in the Materials Science and Engineering Department) 1999, 2000
  • National Academy of Engineerings' Gallery of Women Engineers, August, 1999
  • ASEE, St Lawrence Section, Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award, 1998
  • ASM International 1997 Bradley Stoughton Award - 1997
  • Recycling Division Best Paper at ANTEC '95
  • NSF - National Young Investigator Award 1994 - 1999
  • Society of Plastic Engineers, Plastics Recycling Divisions Fellowship Award, 1993  

Professional Activities:

External Service

  • Guest Co-Editor, IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and 2007
  • Electrical Insulation, Special Issue on Nanodielectrics
  • Vice Chair, International Journal of Materials Reviews 2006
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Nanostructured Polymers and Nanocomposites  2006
  • Member, National Materials Advisory Board, NRC 2002-2008
  • Member, US Advisory Committee for “Interfaces 2007”  2006-2007
  • Member, Advisory Board to University of Wisconsin NSEC 2005-2007
  • “Guided Self Assembly”. TMS Strategic Planning Advisory Board  2001-2006
  • National Materials Advisory Board Committee on High Performance Fibers 1998-2001

Professional Society Service

  • M&T Vision Workshops, 2010 and Beyond  2006
  • Symposium Organizer – Nanocomposite Science and Technology 2006
  • TMS – TAG Committee on Nanomaterials 2006
  • TMS – TAG Committee on Integrated Computational Materials Engr. 2006
  • AIME Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award Committee Member 2002-2004
  • Joint TMS / SPE Conference on Polymer Behavior, Founder and Chair 2000-2001
  • TMS – Information Technology Committee Member 2002-2004
  • TMS – National Education Committee Member 1995 – 2005
    • Vice Chair 1997 – 1999
    • Chair 1999 – 2001
  • TMS – National Career Resource Center Committee Member 1996 – 1997
  • Technical Committee – Local ASM/TMS Spring Symposium Series  2003 – 2005
  • Symposium Organizer – joint SPE/TMS on Polymer Nanocomposites 2001
  • Symposium Organizer, TMS symposium on “Multimedia Education in the Classroom” 1996
  • Technical Committee 2003 International Conference on Nanotechnology
    and PM2: Scientific Challenges and Commercial Opportunities 2003
  • ASM – Nominating Committee 2001
  • ASM – International Journal of Materials Reviews Committee 1996 – 2004
  • ASM – Engineering Materials Achievement Award Selection Committee 1996 – 1999
    • Vice Chair 1998
    • Chair 1999
  • Symposium Organizer, ASM / TMS symposium “Fatigue and Creep of Composite Materials” 1997
  • Society of Plastics Engineers 1993
    • Education Chair Philadelphia Section 1994-1996
  • ASEE – American Society of Engineering Education 1993 –
  • AWIS – American Women in Science 1994 –
  • American Composites Society 1996 –2000
  • Society of Engineering Science 1994 –2000
  • Materials Research Society 1989 –


  • C.B. Ng, L.S. Schadler, R.W. Siegel, “Nanoparticle-Filled Polymers,” Patent No. 6,667,360  (Issue Date: 23 December  2003).
  • T. Li, Q. Chen, L.S. Schadler, R.W. Siegel, J. Mendel, G.C. Irvin, “Gelatin Nanocomposites,” U.S. Patent No. 6,783,805 (Issue Date: 31 August 2004).
  • Ma, D., Schadler, L. S., and Siegel, R. W., "Tubular Mictrostructures via Controlled Nanoparticle Assembly", U.S. Patent No. 6,960,378 (Issue Date, Nov 1, 2005)
  • Y.-C. Chen, N. R. Raravikar, Y.-P. Zhao, L. S. Schadler, P. M. Ajayan, T.-M. Lu, G.-C. Wang, and X.-C. Zhang, “Ultrafast All-optical Switch Using Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composites,” U.S. Patent No. 6,782,154 (2004).
  • E. Martensson, J.-I. Hong, L.S. Schadler, R.W. Siegel, Lars Palmqvist, Anders Gustafsson, Carina Önneby, “Field Grading Material,” U.S. Provisional Patent


Contact Information:
Linda Schadler Feist
MRC 1st Fl
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
schadl@rpi. edu


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