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 has focused on polymer nanocomposites, polymer networks, pre-ceramic polymers and sustainable materials. In 2006 he was awarded a Summer Faculty Fellowship in the group of Dr. Rich Vaia at the US Air Force Research Labs, where he worked on new classes of nanocomposites termed nanolaminates as well as porous shape memory materials. In 2009 he was honored as the first recipient of the Mark and Elisia Saab Endowed Professorship in Sustainable Plastics Engineering. In 2012 he was recognized at the Massachusetts State House as as University Research Champion by the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), and in 2013 he was an invited participant in the BASF Insights Program in Ludwigshafen, Germany. His work has been cited over 1,100 times in the literature, and he is listed as an inventor in 9 families of patents and patent applications. His regular course offerings cover polymer science (junior level lecture), engineering statistics (junior level lecture), polymer nanocomposites (graduate level lecture) and polymer characterization (graduate level lecture). He has been a tenured Associate Professor since 2011.