Lisa C. Klein
Distinguished Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Lisa C. Klein is a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Since joining Rutgers University in 1977, she has been a vital member of the university community as a scholar, teacher, researcher, advocate, and mentor.
Klein's research interests lie in the area of sol-gel science, a low-temperature process for making glass and ceramics. Her research specifically focuses on processes for forming gels for optical applications, porous membranes, and electrochemical devices such as fuel cells, smart windows, and hermetic seals. Klein has five shared patents covering sol-gel processing for window coatings that help keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, a sol-gel fiber used in fluorescing, and a sol-gel coating for an oxygen concentrator. She is currently conducting research on anti-corrosion coatings for steel and other metals.
Klein is also noteworthy for her status at Rutgers University as the first female faculty member in the School of Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. In addition, she was the first woman elevated to the professor II status in the School of Engineering, led the materials science and engineering graduate program for many years, and served two terms as president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT union. A strong supporter of women and minorities in science, Klein was an early contributor to the Douglass Project for Rutgers Women in Math, Science, and Engineering. She has won numerous engineering and other awards, including the 2015 Human Dignity Award from Rutgers for her lifelong commitment to encouraging women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged students to pursue their aspirations. Klein earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgy from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a doctorate in ceramics, minoring in geology, from MIT.