Linda Schadler
Linda Schadler
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
NY

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I am in charge of institute wide programs for undergraduates at Rensselaer. This includes study abroad programs, the general curriculum, student advising, and more. I am also still a Professor and do research in the area of polymer nanocomposites (!) and teach materials science and engineering courses
  • Why Engineering?
    Because I wanted to be in a field that created new things (so it never got boring) and helped solve some of the world's most pressing problems.
  • School Days
    My B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering is from Cornell University My Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering is from the University of Pennsylvania
  • My Day At Work
    I am a professor and I teach and mentor students. I love this part of my work. I conduct research in nanocomposites materials which are being used in everything from improved materials for efficient electrical transmission to materials that help improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes.
  • Best Part
    Solving interesting technical problems and constantly learning new things about how things work (including materials).
  • Proud Moments
    I am proudest of a movie I helped produce called Molecules to the Max (www.molecularium.com) that helps everyone understand more about materials in a fun/animated format.

    I am proudest of my students who have gone on to make contributions to the field of materials science and engineering.

    I am proudest of how I have helped create an atmosphere at work that is encouraging and supportive of all.  

  • Challenges
    I failed my first qualifying exam for my Ph.D. It was then that I learned how in depth we need to understand things in order to make new contributions to engineering. I have met challenging personalities who hurt my feelings, but I have learned not to take things personally and to be true to the path that I feel is right.
  • My Family
    I have a husband and two children. My son is now at Dartmouth College and will graduate in 2018 and my daughter just started at Williams College and will graduate in 2010. My husband works for General Electric. We love to ski and hike and travel. Three years ago we climbed the Grand Teton together. Two years ago we went to South Africa. We are looking forward to planning our next adventure.
  • Dreams and Goals
    Short term - to launch a new program at Rensselaer called the Summer Arch. Our Sophomores will be required to spend the summer after their sophomore year on campus taking their first semester junior classes and will then spend the fall or spring semester on a professional development experience. This is a huge opportunity for us to create a unique and interactive summer semester and to provide students with key opportunities to advance their careers. Long term I plan to retire and volunteer in the area, most likely in two areas: conservation, and education.
  • Inspiration
    My parents and my family overall.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Recognize that there are all kinds of engineers, and that many engineers go on to work in other fields, but the skills they learned in engineering are valuable wherever they go.
  • Additional Thoughts
    I wanted to be in a field that created new things (so it never got boring) and helped solve some of the world's most pressing problems.
  • Hobbies
    I am also a triathlete and just finished my first 1/2 ironman.