Joel L. Plawsky
Professor of Chemical Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sc.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), 1986
M.S., Chemical Engineering Practice, MIT, 1982
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Magna Cum Laude, University of
Prior to joining Rensselaer, Plawsky spent
two years as a senior engineer at Corning, Inc. He then served as
an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering
and as director of the School of Engineering Practice, Albany Station,
at MIT. He became a member of Rensselaer's Department of Chemical
Engineering in the fall of 1988. Plawsky was a NASA Faculty Fellow
in 1999 and 2000, a visiting professor at Delft University of Technology
in 2002, and a visiting professor at the National Space Science
and Technology Center in 2003.
Plawsky earned a Lilly Teaching Fellowship in
1991 and was awarded the Outstanding Research Paper Award in 1995
at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers/Japan Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME/JSME) Thermal Engineering Conference.
He is a member of three honorary societies: Tau Beta Pi, Phi Lambda
Upsilon, and Sigma XI and five professional societies: the American
Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Optical Society of America,
the Materials Research Society, the American Chemical Society, and
the American Institute of Physics. Plawsky also holds patents for
a fiber optic probe and system for particle size and velocity measurement,
and for polymer/xerogel integrated optical waveguides.
Plawsky's team's is conducting studies on
thin films applied to photonic, microelectronic, and micro heat
and mass transfer devices. He also works on new methods for concrete
and mortar production and has a pioneering fluid mechanics experiment
that will take place on the International Space Station.
The objective of Plawsky's integrated optical
devices research is to develop complex optical circuits using nanoporous
materials in combination with organic and inorganic thin films as
the optical guiding and sensing layers. Such devices are becoming
increasingly important in the telecommunication and data communication
industries for processing optical signals, as well as for development
of future generations of supercomputers and integrated biological
and chemical sensors.
Plawsky's studies of inorganic-organic copolymer
systems focus on hybrid nanoporous materials. His group is working
to produce hybrid systems for use in sensors, insulation, and integrated
electrical and photonic circuits. They also are interested in the
fundamental transport processes that can occur in these systems
and in exploiting those processes to make microscale chemical processing
Concrete is the most widely used construction
material on the planet, yet the technology for making it has changed
little in over 2000 years. Now Plawsky and his researchers have
developed a mixing apparatus to decouple mixing from reaction. They
are investigating the fundamental interaction between particle size,
chemical reaction, and mixing that is required to produce high performance,
energy efficient, Earth-friendly concrete.
Plawsky also is involved in a fundamental investigation
into the interaction of a thin liquid film with a solid surface.
Researchers are altering the interaction between the fluid and solid
surface either by using heat transfer to actively evaporate and
condense a pure liquid on the surface, or by modifying the surface
using self-assembled monolayers. The study eventually will be the
first fluid mechanics experiment aboard the International Space
J.L. Plawsky, S. Jovanovich, H. Littman,
K.C. Hover, S. Gerolimatis, and K. Douglas, "The Effect of
Dry Premixing of Sand and Cement on the Mechanical Properties of
Mortar," Cement and Concrete Research, 33, 255-264,
N. Agarwal, S. Ponoth, J.L. Plawsky, P.D. Persans,
"Optimized Oxygen Plasma Etching of Polyimide Films for Low
Loss Optical Waveguides," Journal of Vacuum Science Technology
A, 20, 1587-1591, (2002).
L. Zheng, Y.-X. Wang, J.L. Plawsky, P.C. Wayner
Jr., "Effect of Curvature and Contact Angle on Interfacial
Superheat of Microdrop in Dropwise Condensation," Langmuir,
18, 5170-5177, (2002).
N. Agarwal, S. Ponoth, J.L. Plawsky, and P. Persans,
"Roughness Evolution in Polyimide Films due to Plasma Etching,"
Applied Physics Letters, 78, 2294-2296, (2001).
A. Jain, S. Rogojevic, W.N. Gill, and J.L. Plawsky,
"The Effects of Processing History on the Modulus of Silica
Xerogel Films," Journal of Applied Physics, 90,
A. Jain, S. Rogojevic, S. Ponoth, N. Agarwal,
I. Matthew, W.N. Gill, P. Persans, M. Tomozawa, J.L. Plawsky, and
E. Simonyi, "Porous Silica Materials as Low-k Dielectrics for
Electronic and Optical Interconnects," Thin Solid Films,
398-399, 513-522, (2001).
S. Rogojevic, A.Jain, T.M. Lu, G. Yang, A Kumar,
H. Bakhru, W.A. Lanford, W.N. Gill, P.C. Wayner Jr., and J.L. Plawsky,
"Interactions Between Silica Xerogel and Ta," Journal
of Vacuum Science Technology B, 19, 354, (2001).
Y.-X. Wang, J.L. Plawsky, and P.C. Wayner Jr.,
"Optical Measurement of Microscale Transport Processes in Dropwise
Condensation," Microscale Thermophysical Engineering,
5, 55, (2001).
T.E.F.M. Standaert, E.A.
Joseph, G.S. Oehrlein, A. Jain, W.N. Gill, P.C. Wayner Jr., and
J.L. Plawsky, "Etching of Xerogel in High-Density Fluorocarbon
Plasmas," Journal of Vacuum Science Technology B, 18,
Joel L. Plawsky
122 Ricketts Building
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 Eighth Street
Troy, N.Y. 12180 USA
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