Kalpana S. Katti (North Dakota State University (NDSU))
Kalpana Katti is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at North Dakota State University. She joined NDSU in 1997 after receiving a PhD from University of Washington in 1996 in materials science and engineering. At NDSU she has established a state-of-the-art materials characterization laboratory that houses advanced nanomechanical and infrared spectroscopic equipment as well as a Tissue Engineering Laboratory. She has been instrumental in bringing new advanced electron microscopes with federal funding that has led to significant expansion of the Electron Microscopy facility at NDSU. She spearheaded a new doctoral program in materials and nanotechnology at NDSU which has been offered since 2006. Her research in the field of nanomaterials and biomaterials has led to several discoveries and made important contributions to the field.
Katti has been actively involved in MRS for many years, starting with being the founding president of MRS University Student chapter at University of Washington. She has been lead organizer for many symposia at MRS, chaired the Academic Affairs Committee, chaired a subcommittee on University Chapters and currently serves on the New Products and Publications subcommittee of the MRS Publications Committee. Her involvement in other societies includes membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers - Engineering Mechanics Institute’s Biomechanics Committee, and Properties of Materials Committee and the TMS Biomaterials Committee. She has also organized symposia for MS&T meetings in the biomaterials area. She reviews papers and proposals for several publishers and federal agencies in the US (NSF, NIH, DoD, DoE), Europe, Australia, and South America.
Her primary area of research is in tissue engineering, and biomimetics. The Katti group has developed novel nanoclay based nanocomposites for biomedical applications. In addition, experimental and modeling work done in this group has resulted in formulating the ‘altered phase theory’ of nanocomposites that describes the fundamental reasons of enhanced properties in nanoclay composites (polymer clay nanocomposites or PCNs). She has also led multiscale modeling and experimental studies on biological nanocomposite systems such as seashells and bone. Another important contribution from her group has been the understanding that mineral proximity influences mechanical property of polymers, proteins and biopolymers, which has a large impact on understanding mechanics of engineered nanocomposites as well as biological materials such as seashells and bone. She has received grants totaling over $4M from 2000-2011. She has published over 125 publications in journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters and patents. She has received the most cited award from the journal Colloids and Interfaces for the 2004-2007 years. She is also a NSF CAREER award grantee. At NDSU she is engaged in search, promotion and tenure, teaching, NSF ADVANCE, high performance computing, and several other committees at the department, college, and university level. She received the Peltier award for innovations in teaching in 2007 and the 52nd Faculty Lectureship award in 2011. She is also a recipient of the Roon award from the Federation of Coatings Technologies in 1999.
Back To Top
“The Materials Research Society has reached the status of being the premier society of interdisciplinary researchers at the cutting edge of science and technology. MRS has expanded and evolved to meet the challenges of the 21st century through a culture that fosters interdisciplinary research and that embraces new research thrusts in response to changes in global needs. This flexibility arises from all four pillars of MRS, enthused leadership, globally engaged diverse membership, student participation, and engaged staff. The results are the immensely successful meetings and publications with wide international attendance and readership. This inherent flexibility of MRS to embrace new and innovative demands of the 21st century such as the bio-nano, energy, healthcare, and infrastructure, has poised MRS to be at the forefront of technological advancements unlike other more rigidly discipline-specific societies. This presents an even greater opportunity for MRS for the future. In my mind, two large opportunities lie ahead for the Society.
The first is the timely response to changing global economy that is resting on the shoulders of innovations and innovators of research and education. I believe that it is imperative that MRS respond to that need by encouraging and engaging in translational research that fosters innovations and innovators and engage more of the participation of small and large corporations through additional incentives, in addition to highlighting and supporting basic research in the materials area. Technological advances in sciences and engineering translating to economic development is surely one of the critical needs of the future. Besides industry participation, innovation in education that reflects the vision and mission of MRS towards interdisciplinary research should also continue.
The other copious opportunity for MRS is active student participation at undergraduate and graduate level in MRS meetings. Student participation at MRS creates lifelong loyalties of individuals that arise from mentorships, interactions with world class scientists as role models as well as foremost view of new research advances. This also creates the culture of interdisciplinary research in these individuals that lasts through their entire careers. I can personally testify that my own involvement in MRS through paper presentations and student chapter participation as a graduate student created the foundation for my career and made me consider MRS as my primary home society. Innovative and creative methods to continue to engage media- and technology-savvy students of today, is particularly significant, and would go a long way to ensure their loyalty to MRS and furthering MRS values.
MRS was founded over thirty years ago with a vision of interdisciplinary research - an idea inherently innovative in that timeline, by visionary leaders. I believe the role of the MRS Board is to continue that vision of interdisciplinary research and more importantly the idea behind it, of innovative response to the needs of the day, while maintaining the core values. The biggest challenge today is the changing global economy and MRS is poised to play a big role in retooling and energizing young researchers towards innovations in materials as well as engaging basic and translational research for robust economic development. The diverse MRS membership, both student and regular, as well as the enthused and loyal staff, are well prepared and poised to undertake the new challenges and opportunities. In a culture of receptiveness to change, MRS can be a leader in addressing emerging opportunities and issues in the future, in the world, and the MRS Board can play a vital role in this regard.”