MII Alumni Highlights: Joseph Dennis
Dr. Dennis is a polymer chemist stationed in Chicago as part of ARL Central within the US Army Research Laboratory. He is currently engaged with several universities in the Chicagoland area, focused on discovering and operationalizing adaptive polymer glasses for soldier, vehicle and weapon applications. His current role is actively collaborating with the external community and steering research to accelerate the discovery, innovation, and transition of technology to the Army.
Dr. Dennis graduated from the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech in 2017 under the guidance of Professor Timothy E. Long, where he identified the delicate interplay between polymer topology and macroscopic properties in engineering thermoplastics. He then transitioned to a postdoctoral research position with IBM, focused on novel material designs for industrial applications ranging from microelectronics to sea floor piping. In some cases, he led interdisciplinary teams in collaborative projects as principal investigator with the group’s success evidenced in technology transfer though patents, and external recognition in peer-reviewed articles.
“The interdisciplinary, cross-organizational experiences I had in MII laid the foundation for navigating the tortuous paths when working across industrial, academic, and national laboratories. In my opinion, the strength of the MII program is not only the scientific progress, but also the less tangible lessons in communication and interpersonal skills inherent in the daily interactions with my peers.”
Dr. Dennis’ current research focus is in understanding and exploiting adaptive polymer networks. This relatively untapped area of material discovery presents challenging opportunities to understand the structure-property-response nexus and uncover rapidly-responding, adaptable materials for active armor, recyclable structural adhesives, and robotic technologies.
Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-dennis