Karen I. Winey is Professor and TowerBrook Foundation Faculty Fellow of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She was recently a Visiting Miller Research Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Winey’s current interests include both polymer nanocomposites and ion-containing polymers. In nanocomposites, she has designed and fabricated polymer nanocomposites containing carbon nanotubes and metal nanowires with the aim of understanding how to improve their mechanical, thermal, and especially electrical conductivity and resistive switching properties. Polymer dynamics in the presence of nanoparticles and other types of nanoconfinement is an active area of interest. In ion-containing polymers, including block copolymers and polymers with ionic liquids, Winey combines imaging and scattering methods to provide unprecedented insights into their morphologies. Current efforts focus on correlating nanoscale structures with ion transport properties. In both areas, she couples experimental studies with simulation and theory, either within her group or with collaborators. Winey holds 12 patents and has published over 165 papers (h-index 49).
Winey received her B.S. from Cornell University in materials science and engineering and her Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with Ned Thomas as her thesis advisor. Following a postdoctoral position at AT&T Bell Laboratories with Ron Larson, she joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Elected positions include chair of the Polymer Physics Gordon Research Conference (2010) and Chair of the Division of Polymer Physics within the American Physical Society (2013). Winey also served as an Associate Editor for Macromolecules, the premier journal for polymer science, for four years (2010-14). Her honors include Fellow of the American Physical Society (2003), a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation (2009-2011), the George H. Heilmeier Faculty Award for Excellence in Research (2012), and Fellow of the Materials Research Society (2013).