Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Julia A. Kornfield
California Institute of Technology


"For incisive experiments to relate microstructural dynamics to macroscopic behavior of polymer blends, block copolymers and liquid crystals."


Julia A. Kornfield is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Caltech in 1983 and 1984, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University in 1988. Following a NATO Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, she joined the faculty at Caltech in 1990. Professional activity has included serving on the Education Committee of APS, Division of High Polymer Physics (DHPP), organizing symposia of the Society of Rheology, and co-organizing international meetings such as the Polymer Solutions and Melts Symposium of the Pacific Conference on Rheology and Polymer Processing, the 5th US-German Polymer Symposium and the 7th US-France Polymer Meeting. She has received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Emerging Scholars Award of the American Association of University Women.

Kornfield's experimental program has provided direct, quantitative observations of polymer dynamics from the local segmental motions that control their glass transition behavior to the overall relaxations of chain conformation and mesophase structures, which govern interdiffusion, viscoelasticity, and flow-induced microstructural transformations. Her group's research has led to significant advances in understanding the dynamics of polymer blends, block copolymers and side-group liquid-crystalline polymers.