Joan F. Brennecke, the Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for her innovation in the use of ionic liquids and supercritical fluids for environmentally benign chemical processing.
Election to NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature, the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.
Brennecke, who also serves as director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame, is internationally known for her research in the development of solvents, specifically supercritical fluids and ionic liquids, for specific applications. Her research interests include supercritical fluid technology, ionic liquids, thermodynamics, environmentally benign chemical processing, and carbon dioxide separationand use.
Throughout her career, Brennecke has received numerous awards for her research, as well as for her contributions in the classroom. Most recently, she was named one of the 100 most cited chemists, a list published by the Times Higher Education group to celebrate the achievements of 100 chemists who achieved the highest citation impact scores for chemistry papers published since January 2000. She was named the recipient of the 2009 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for her exceptional contributions in research and development supporting the DOE in its mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States. She was also selected as the 2008 Julius Stieglitz Lecturer by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
In addition, Brennecke has received the John M. Prausnitz Award for outstanding achievement in applied chemical thermodynamics from the Conference on Properties and Phase Equilibria for Product and Process Design, the Professional Progress Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Ipatieff Prize from the ACS in recognition of her high-pressure studies of the local structure of supercritical fluid solutions and the effect of this local structure on the rates of homogeneous reactions. The National Science Foundation also honored her with the Presidential Young Investigator Award.
A member of AIChE, ACS and the American Society for Engineering Education, Brennecke is past chair of the Council for Chemical Research and as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data
A graduate of the University of Texas, Brennecke received her master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. She has served as a Notre Dame faculty member since 1989.