Joan F. Brennecke
Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical Engineering
Joan Brennecke is internationally known for the development of environmentally benign solvents, specifically supercritical fluids and ionic liquids, both of which may lead to industrial applications with fewer ecologically harmful side effects. The author of numerous groundbreaking articles on these liquids, her 1999 paper in the journal Nature launched an entirely new area of molecular thermodynamics—one made up entirely of ions—to exploit ionic liquids.
In April 2010, Brennecke was honored with the Department of Energy’s prestigious E.O. Lawrence Award, conferred on scientists and engineers whose research has shown exceptional promise to advance the country’s national, economic, and energy security. Brennecke is in good company, as her fellow awardees include a disproportionately high number of Nobel Laureates and National Academy members.
In addition to the Lawrence Award, Brennecke has been recognized with nearly every major award in her field. Her scientific papers are among the most highly cited in all of chemical engineering and physical chemistry. She was also elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012.
Established in 1975, by the late Bernard Crawford (’40), the Keating-Crawford Professorship is one of Notre Dame’s oldest endowed faculty positions. It was intended to honor the donor’s uncle, Bernard Keating, founder of Standard Tool & Manufacturing Co.