About MRS

Coray M. Colina, University of Florida

Candidate for Board of Directors

Coray Colina

Coray M. Colina is currently professor at the University of Florida (UF) in the Chemistry Department and affiliated in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and the Nuclear Engineering Department. She completed her PhD degree in chemical engineering at North Carolina State University before continuing her research in the Chemistry Department at the University of North Carolina as a postdoctoral research associate. Having completed her post doc, she was appointed associate professor, Materials Science and Engineering Department at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU).  She was at PSU for nine years before assuming her current role as professor at UF.

Colina has been active in MRS throughout her professional career. She recently co-chaired the 2018 XXVII International Materials Research Congress (IMRC) co-sponsored by MRS. She oversaw the planning of the Congress which included over 1,700 participants from nearly 60 countries. The IMRC offers a range of symposium topics of interest to the materials research community at various symposia. She was awarded the 2019 ACS Cooperative Research Award in Applied Polymer Science, serves on the Editorial Advisory Board as a member of ACS Macromolecules (2016-2020) and ACS Macro Letters. (2016-2020), co-edited the book “Introduction to Scientific and Technical Computing,” CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group (2016), and authored the book “Learning Thermodynamics,” (in Spanish) Simón Bolívar University (2018), Editorial Equinoccio.

Her involvement in other societies includes ACS and AIChE, where she served as vi-chair, chair, and past-chair of the Computational Science and Engineering Forum. Additionally, she is committed to the development and distribution of open source software as well as to promote diversity within the classroom and beyond. Colina has co-authored over 90 refereed scientific papers and over 250 presentations at national and international conferences.

Colina’s research is focused on understanding structure-property-dynamics relations in functional materials such as polymeric membranes, mixed matrices, biomolecules, bio-conjugates, hydrogels, and alternative ionic liquids, in order to create new materials with desired properties that meet application requirements. She has strong partnerships with experimental and synthetic researchers from universities in the United States, Europe, and North and South America, as well as government laboratories and industrial research centers.


Candidate's Statement

The Materials Research Society has shown to be an international society that promotes diversity in the materials community, includes the use of virtual technologies, and serves the broader future membership. One of MRS main strategic objectives is to advance materials research and education to improve the quality of life. Additionally, MRS has the responsibility to provide the support needed to solve many vexing problems in society.  To achieve its strategic objectives and responsibilities, I believe MRS must focus on three critical goals. First, the Society should continue to innovate which requires growth. MRS must balance this expansion to include the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ material communities while establishing initiatives developed from its current membership, its volunteers, and its staff. To enable the exponential growth within a diverse global materials community, MRS should continue to foster its core Diversity Statement “Diversity drives Innovation, Excellence and New Discoveries” by bringing together participants from disparate fields to share views, insights, and discoveries. Second, MRS should continue to expand as the Materials Gateway for global communication and knowledge dissemination. MRS must dramatically expand its use of virtual technologies while maintaining the high standards of its publications, website, and meetings. MRS should seek innovative virtual technological concepts to serve the broadest possible community. Finally, MRS should increase the engagement of its international membership. In 2017, 46% of MRS’s membership originated from outside the United States, with membership from over 80 countries. This represents a unique opportunity for MRS since, on average, a scientific society headquartered in the United States only has 25% of its members from outside the United States.

The advances that MRS will achieve by uniting rapidly evolving science in different disciplines will continue to position MRS to impact a broad range of applications and thus society. Ultimately, this relies on the Society recruiting, inspiring, and retaining innovative, passionate members, staff, and volunteers. I believe the role of the MRS Board is to ensure the Society’s goals are to serve a diverse, globally engaged workforce of scientists and engineers, through “strategic thinking, setting directions for MRS, establishing policy, and operational oversight at a high level.” By accomplishing these goals, we will continue to support a robust, innovative membership that is the life and legacy of MRS.