• Matt_s Swirls

Huyen Vu

I am from Methuen, Massachusetts and received my B.S. at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Chemical Engineering and minoring in Materials. During my undergraduate, I was involved in various research topics such as using nanoparticles for drug delivery, converting methane to chemical commodities, and optimizing a liquid metal-air battery. However, by pure chance, I took a course about Plastics during my senior year and immediately knew I wanted to pursue my career path in the field. I was fascinated by how much polymer science intertwined with materials being used in all applications and the potentials in the field.           

I gravitated towards UMass PSE due to the research atmosphere - the open collaboration that occurs on a daily basis. The department is vibrant with conversations related to all types of innovative ideas. Everyone is always willing to talk about the possibilities and entertain all of the what-ifs. By simply visiting different floors within the building, I am able to engage in fruitful conversations with current students which expands my horizon of knowledge and allows me to approach a problem from different facets.

I am currently in the Coughlin research group working on a project in collaboration with NIST regarding surface modified cellulose nanocrystals to study the fundamental structure-property relationships at the interphase. Besides research, I am also involved in the ASPIRE outreach program that focuses on introducing high school students to Polymer Science and Engineering through demonstration of basic synthesis experiments and instruments.

After finishing my PhD, my future plan is to work at NREL National Lab in Colorado to research renewable energy and energy storage technology.