Lisa Pfefferle Is Appointed the C. Baldwin Sawyer Professor

Lisa D. Pfefferle, newly named as the C. Baldwin Sawyer Professor of Engineering, is an expert in the areas of combustion kinetics and chemical reaction engineering.

Pfefferle’s concentration is in catalytically stabilized hydrocarbon fuels and analyzing the hydrocarbon chemistry in flames. Her other interests include soot formation mechanisms, incineration of toxic wastes, laser-based diagnostics for chemically reacting flow systems and the synthesis of aligned carbon nanotubes.

The Yale engineer leads an interdisciplinary team that has been awarded a three-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to design more efficient and cost-effective solar cells.

She holds seven patents for the scientific materials and processes she has developed in her laboratory.

Pfefferle joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor in 1983 and became the first female professor in engineering in 1997. She was also the first woman to chair a department in the physical sciences, serving as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering 1999-2003.

At Yale, Pfefferle is also affiliated with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Environmental Engineering Program and with the new Yale Climate and Energy Institute.

A graduate of Princeton University, Pfefferle worked for E.I. Dupont de Nemours for two years as a process supervisor in an organic chemicals plant before pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has been honored for her scientific contributions with a 2005 IBM Faculty Award and a 1997 Yale Science and Engineering Alumni Association Research Award. She was an NSF Presidential Young Investigator 1987-1992 and an Eli Lilly Teaching Fellow in 1987.

Pfefferle served on the board of the Eastern States Combustion Institute 1996-2006 and is a member of that professional organization.

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