MIT’s Gleason is Named 2019 Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecturer

Karen Gleason
Karen Gleason
Chemical engineering professor will discuss vapor deposited polymers at AIChE’s Annual Meeting in Orlando on November 13
August 27, 2019

Karen K. Gleason, the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser (1960) Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been chosen by AIChE to present the John M. Prausnitz AIChE Institute Lecture for 2019. She will present her lecture, “From Chemical Engineering Fundamentals to the Commercialization of Vapor Deposited Polymers,” on Wednesday, November 13, at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

The Prausnitz AIChE Institute lectureship is awarded to a distinguished member of AIChE who has made significant contributions to chemical engineering in their field of specialization. The lectureship is endowed by the AIChE Foundation in honor of John Prausnitz, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who pioneered the field of engineering-oriented molecular thermodynamics.

Gleason’s research concentrates on the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of polymeric thin films, with applications in sensors, biotechnology, microelectronics, organic electronics, microfluidics, microelectronic mechanical systems, composites, and membranes. She is a co-founder of the companies GVD Corp. and DropWise Technologies Corp., providers of ultrathin and polymer coatings for a variety of applications.

Gleason has served MIT as Executive Officer of the Chemical Engineering Department, Associate Director of the Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies, Associate Dean of Engineering for Research, and Associate Provost. She has also provided oversight for MIT’s Technology Licensing Office and the Industrial Liaison Program, and helped establish new alliances with industry. She is the author of more than 300 publications and holds more than 35 U.S. patents. She is editor of the book CVD Polymers Fabrication of Organic Surfaces and Devices and a deputy editor for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science Advances.

A Fellow of AIChE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Gleason earned her BS and MS degrees at MIT and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley — all in chemical engineering.

About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at