Jodie Lutkenhaus
Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus
Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I am an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. I teach thermodynamics, and I do research in the areas of polymers.
  • Why Engineering?
    I enjoyed problem solving, and I saw engineering as a way to keep doing that. My family was also a major influence. My mom and dad studied chemistry and physics, respectively, and my older system was studying chemical engineering. Growing up, science and engineering were always part of the conversation among family. As a child, my hobbies were crossword and logic puzzles, video games, board games, and music. These prepared me well for my future path.
  • School Days
    I went to The University of Texas at Austin for my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. Then, I went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology for my PhD in chemical engineering.
  • My Day At Work
    My job includes a combination of research, teaching, and service. I supervise a research lab of 10+ graduate students and post-docs. This also requires writing manuscripts and applying for funding. I usually teach one class of 60-90 students per semester. In the past I have taught Thermodynamics and also Introduction to Polymer Engineering.
  • Best Part
    I enjoy the combination of using established knowledge to solve today's new problems. Chemical engineering fundamentals are well established, yet I enjoy learning about how they are applied to today's global challenges such as water purification, accessible health care for all, carbon dioxide capture, and more. As the future global challenges evolve or change, I know that chemical engineers will always be positioned to address them.
  • Proud Moments
    I am most proud of the students that I have taught and mentored. I love hearing about their latest career and life accomplishments.
  • Challenges
    One challenge I have faced and overcome is that of criticism. In science and engineering, criticism is a part of every day life, from receiving grades as a student to receiving feedback on your latest project. You just have to remember that the criticism is usually well-intended and the goal is to always improve. It is usually about the work and not about you, so it is important to take it in and forge ahead.
  • My Family
    I am married with two boys under the ages of ten. They keep us very busy!
  • Dreams and Goals
    Short-term, I want to develop a new elective course and I want to develop new polymer-enabled batteries from developments in my research. Long-term, I want to lead a large effort on polymers or soft matter that addresses global challenges.
  • Inspiration
    My parents!
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Go for it! Just remember to have fun. I always found time to go to music shows or play games with my friends. Don't forget to be human.
  • Additional Thoughts
    You just have to remember that the criticism is usually well-intended and the goal is to always improve. It is usually about the work and not about you, so it is important to take it in and forge ahead.
  • Hobbies
    These days, I am very involved with family, which doesn't leave too much time for hobbies. I have a large garden and I sometimes sew. I just read "The Circle" for the second time, and I think I could read it again!
Biography
I am an associate professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University. I do research in the areas of polymers, plastics, and materials for batteries. During the school year, I teach thermodynamics and an elective course on polymer engineering. My parents were scientists, so chemical engineering was a natural choice!
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