Newell R. Washburn

washburn at andrew dot cmu dot edu
MI 814
photo of Newell Washburn

Short Summary

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Engineering with a courtesy appointment in Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. The research in my group is broadly interested in the development of new materials and exploring their technological applications. Our central focus is on developing surfactants, nanocomposites, and coatings based on the biopolymer lignin. We're also working on developing biomaterials based on hyaluronic acid, developing solid-phase adsorbents for recovery rare earth elements from water sources, and engineering binders for battery electrodes based on conducting polymers. The general thread of our research is bridging fundamental investigations and technological applications, and my students get experience in basic and translational research. I'm also interested in teaching technological innovation and entrepreneurship in science and engineering classes as well as social entrepreneurship and volunteerism.


Doctoral Students MS Students Undergraduates
Jillian Epstein (MSE)
Chetali Gupta (MSE)
Kedar Perkins (Chemistry)
Blair Graham (MSE)
Nicole Sansone (Chemistry)
Emily Charleson (Chemistry)
Renee Rios (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Madeleine Sverdlove (Chemistry)
photo of Washburn group in front of the Mellon Institute, 2015

The Washburn Group: Maddy Sverdlove, Jillian Epstein, Emily Charleson, Nicole Sansone, Chetali Gupta, Kedar Perkins, Newell Washburn. Not pictured: Blair Graham, Renee Rios.




Hyaluronic acid

molecular diagram

Conducting polymer binders for battery electrodes

image of polymer



I run a tutoring program in which CMU students volunteer to tutor high school students in the sciences called Tutornet. We do in-class and on-line tutoring and are always looking for volunteers.


I am interested in entrepreneurship and have developed a project in Polymeric Biomaterials to introduce students to the subject and give them a basic understanding of how patents and intellectual property work in the context of technological innovation. This is summarized in an article that appears in Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A.



Publications List