Delia Milliron Named New Chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering

June 15, 2020

The Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has named distinguished researcher and professor Delia Milliron as the new chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. She will begin her appointment on January 16, 2021, succeeding the department’s current chair, Thomas Truskett.

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Milliron joined UT Austin as a faculty member in 2013 and currently holds the T. Brockett Hudson Professorship in Chemical Engineering. She is a professor in the McKetta Department and leads a research team that develops and studies the properties of nanomaterials.

Milliron graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a certificate in materials science and engineering. She then earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the chemical synthesis and assembly of nanostructured electronic and electrochemical materials, processing-structure-property relationships, energy and electronic devices.

Among Milliron’s most well-known innovations is the development of a novel energy-efficient “smart window” coating technology, which allows people to selectively vary the heat transmission through windows while also controlling glare and lighting. Following this revolutionary discovery, she co-founded Heliotrope Technologies. She also recently co-founded Celadyne Technologies to pursue commercialization of high-temperature membranes to enable the hydrogen economy.

Milliron also serves as a co-principal investigator for the Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at UT Austin. She has authored or co-authored over 130 journal articles, holds 19 patents and is the recipient of many awards, most recently the American Chemical Society’s Inorganic Nanoscience Award (2019), the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Engineering (2018), the Norman Hackerman Award (2017) and the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016).

Current McKetta Department Chair Thomas Truskett, who has served in the role for the past eight years, has brought outstanding vision and stability during his tenure. In addition to strengthening the department’s national reputation and recruiting several world-class professors from across the country — including Milliron — Truskett has expanded course offerings for students to include Entrepreneurship in Chemical Engineering and study abroad courses for Nanotechnology Innovation and Engineering Global Health. In collaboration with industry partners, Truskett also developed an innovative lab safety mentor program, and in 2016, he helped to raise over $28 million in celebration of the department’s centennial anniversary.

Currently, both undergraduate and graduate UT chemical engineering programs are ranked among the nation’s top five, according to U.S. News and World Report. With 27 faculty, over 900 students and over 7,000 alumni around the world, the McKetta Department pioneers research in vital areas such as energy and the environment, human health, materials, manufacturing and much more.

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