Lara Estroff elected Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry

By: Cornell Engineering

The Cornell University Board of Trustees have elected Lara A. Estroff to be the Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry, effective April 1, 2023. Endowed chairs are the highest faculty honor at Cornell.

Estroff has served as the chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering since 2020. Prior to joining the department in 2005, she received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, earned her Ph.D. from Yale University, and was an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow in Prof. George M. Whiteside's laboratory at Harvard University. 

At Cornell, Estroff served as the director of graduate studies in her department from 2015-2019, and she was promoted to full professor in 2019.

When she became chair of the department, her predecessor, Bruce van Dover, the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of Engineering, described Estroff as “a committed researcher and educator.”

“She has been dedicated to seeing the growth and diversification of our department,” he said. “And her commitment to our students and their success is unparalleled.”

Estroff has received several awards, including an NSF Early Faculty Career Award in 2009 and a J.D. Watson Young Investigator’s award from NYSTAR in 2006. Her research group focuses on bio-inspired materials synthesis, crystal growth mechanisms, and the high-resolution characterization of pathological mineralization. 

“Biomineralization is a rather niche area that involves contributions from materials science, geology, biology and more. It’s very multidisciplinary,” Estroff explained to the Cornell Chronicle in 2023 for a story highlighting the success of one of her longstanding collaborations.

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